The How Zone

How to Attract Birds & Butterflies to Your Yard

Birdscaping Research


Books have been written on this topic. Many magazines and other publications are devoted to this cause. At the end of this article I will share some of my favorite resources. I used Birdscaping Your Garden, by George Adams.

Research the species of bird you wish to attract and/or the plants you wish to grow. If you have a favorite bird you wish to attract, plant what it likes to eat and they will come. (example: Hummingbirds love bee balm of all colors.) If you have a favorite tree or bush or perennial plant, you can research what species of birds or butterflies it will attract to your yard. (Example: American cranberry bush is the favorite food of the waxwings.)

I chose to get “the most bang for my buck” by planting the varieties of native trees, shrubs and plants that would bring the largest numbers of species of birds. Plant natives instead of exotic species, because the native plants provide foods the local population of wildlife is familiar with, such as: pollen, nectar, nuts, pinecones, berries and seeds. Exotic plant species can become invasive and harmful to people and wildlife. They strangle out the roots of native plants and are a sort of “junk food” to the birds.

Here are some examples of native plants to New England and the number of bird species attracted to them.

The following attract many varieties for food and shelter.

Bee Balm

Bee Balm

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