Step-by-Step Guide: Landscaping for Birds in Your Backyard


I don’t know about you, but I think a lit garden is about more than just pretty flowers and plants. One really cool aspect of landscaping that’s often overlooked is inviting helpful wildlife, like pollinating bugs and useful birds, into your outdoor space. Not only will these critters make your backyard ecosystem more vibrant and lively, but they also hook you up with some sweet ecological benefits too! 


For example, bugs like bees and butterflies will flutter around your blossoms, spreading pollen, which helps your plants reproduce and grow. And buzzy insects like spiders will munch on pesky bugs that might otherwise nibble holes in your leaves. Plus, inviting feathered friends like chickadees and finches gives you lovely birdsong as they snack on insects and spread seeds around your yard. So whether it’s bugs or birds, making an outside oasis perfect for wildlife gives back as you relax and enjoy your own backyard paradise!


If you wanna transform your garden into a buzzing, chirping, thriving landscape alive with helpful creatures, here are some tips:


Grow Native Plants Suited to Local Wildlife  

The first step is filling your outdoor space with a variety of trees, bushes, plants, and flowers that are native to your region. Native plants have adapted over generations to provide for the unique needs of nearby pollinators, birds, and beneficial bugs by producing nectar, seeds, berries, or foliage that these creatures rely on.


So, by choosing native species already suited to thrive in your yard, you provide local wildlife with the ideal food and habitats they’ve evolved to use without extra work on your end! Plus, native plants need less maintenance from you since they’re already adapted to be drought and disease-resistant. It’s a win-win!


Some tremendous native plant choices that’ll attract more insects and birds include bright Black-eyed Susan flowers, vibrant purple Sage, cheerful yellow Zinnias, aromatic Agastache, fluffy Blazing Stars, elegant native Irises, wild hardy Roses, energetic Cosmos blooms, bright red Serviceberries and clusters of sweet Elderberries. Mix and match to create a bountiful and vibrant habitat!


Set the Table with Water, Shelter and Nesting Spots

If you wanna host the best backyard wildlife parties, ensuring your space offers food, water, and shelter is key! Set up an all-you-can-drink open bar by adding a birdbath, building a pollinator pond with muddy edges, or just placing out shallow water dishes and pebbles. Refresh water every few days to keep it clean.


You’ll also wanna set aside sheltered areas with native plants, bushes, or piles of sticks and leaves for critters to hide, sleep, and nest in safety. Put up some cozy bird or bee houses, too! Woodpeckers may also move into the yard to feast on tasty insects hiding under loose bark or inside decaying logs. More birds means fewer bugs nibbling your garden!


And by planting seed and berry-producing shrubs like Serviceberries, Elderberries, native Black Cherries, or Blackberries, your feathered friends will keep returning to snack at their favorite backyard diner. Cater to pollinators by adding tubular flowers like Foxgloves or Trumpet Vines that provide nectar for hummers and butterflies to dip their long beaks and tongues into. 


Skip the Pesticides and Fertilize Naturally

While chemicals like harsh pesticides or synthetic fertilizers might promise a perfect landscape, they actually can poison helpful creatures like birds and bees. Yikes! These chemicals damage your local ecosystem both in obvious and subtle ways. 


Instead, keep your soil healthy by mixing in nutrient-packed compost, which feeds plants naturally so they grow strong enough to support more wildlife visitors looking for tasty seeds, nectar, and foliage. Strong plants also better resist diseases and damages from pesky insects.


If critters start nibbling too many holes in your leaves, spot-treat problem areas with gentler solutions like insecticidal soap, neem oil, or essential oils rather than blanketing your whole yard with toxic chemicals. Tolerating minor cosmetic damage is worth the tradeoff of having a vibrant, living landscape!


Join Community Science to Track Your Efforts  

Want guidance attracting more colorful birds and buzzy insects to your yard? Connect with community science projects like eBird, iNaturalist, or BeeWatch. These programs allow you to upload photos and report sightings of creatures visiting your space, helping scientists monitor endangered wildlife and track environmental changes.


Plus, you’ll gain insights about what local species already live around you and how to best support them right in your own backyard. It’s super fun and makes you feel good knowing you’re contributing to global wildlife conservation efforts while also making your personal garden space greener. Score!


Soon, your landscape will transform into a proper backyard paradise alive with flutters, songs, buzzes, and helpful creatures keeping each other in balance. As the birds, bees, butterflies, and good bugs you attract support your local plant life and keep pests in check naturally, you’ll reap the rewards of a gorgeous, vibrant, and resilient habitat. Get out there and channel your inner Snow White by befriending the critters in your yard today!