The most basic way to make sure any bird finds your yard a desirable place to hang out is by supplying them with food sources and protected places to build their nests. Attracting hummingbirds, sparrows and finches is somewhat common knowledge, but you’ll have to try a little harder to attract some of the more rare birds. Lucky for you, we’ve done the research for you so that you can transform your backyard into a bird paradise.
To attract the noisy and beautiful birds, try scattering acorns, cherries, hazelnuts and peanuts in your gardens and burying some as well. You could also mix all of those with black and striped sunflower seeds and pour it in a large platform bird feeder. Jays are also big fans of oak trees, so if you have any in your yard, you’re already ahead of the game. Keep the food coming, because Jays are smart enough to realize when you don’t keep up with their food supply and they’ll find other sources.
The Baltimore Oriole is Maryland’s state bird and is identified by their black and gold coloring. They are a little trickier to have hanging around your gardens, but if you’re putting out the right food, they will come. Try luring them in with grape jelly, orange halves, nectar and suet. When you put feeders out for orioles, you want to put them out before the birds even arrive for the season and make sure that they are visible from the surrounding treetops.
You really have to have the right set-up if you want to attract yellow warblers. You need a lot of bushes and bushy trees, as well as trees that produce fruit. They build low nests, so if you have an outdoor cat, avoid attracting these birds. Warblers also love a good bird bath and some honeysuckles. Avoid pesticides since warblers (along with many other birds) eat insects as well.
These songbirds are easily identifiable by their black and white coloring and ruby red “bib.” Most commonly found in the Northeast and Midwest, you can attract these birds to your yard by planting berry bushes and fruit trees. They prefer to peck away at safflower seed in an open tray feeder.
The cedar waxwing (or yellow waxwing) is a stunning bird. The bird has a small crest and is mostly tan in color. They have a black mask around their eyes and gorgeous touches of red, white, grey, yellow and black. Here’s a bird that will be around even in the winter, but is tough to draw in. Nonaggressive and traveling in flocks, cedar waxwings need availability to fruit-bearing plants and a good water source. Leave your fruit on your plants throughout and fall and winter, and consider putting some chopped apples, cherries and raisins in a bird feeder.
The painted bunting is one of the most gorgeous birds in North America. With its rainbow coloring, these birds are shy but territorial. They need a good water source. They love bathing and prefer water that is running or dripping. To attract these birds, you need brush, and lots of it. Consider vines and plenty of bushes. Homes within a mile from the coast in southern and southeastern states have the best chance of attracting them. As for feeders, painted buntings prefer cage feeders filled with white millet.