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How do you go about attracting birds to your backyard?

Attracting Birds - The Quail Who Came To Breakfast.

How to serve up an enticing menu to attract wild birds to your desert backyard.

Attracting birds to your backyard can be done in a number of ways. The end result is an interesting hobby that will create hours of enjoyment to you and your family.

Here's a brief list of things you can do to invite the entrancing little creatures to feast, bathe, and raise their families virtually under your nose:

  1. Plant bird-friendly cactus, trees, shrubs, grasses and wildflowers in your yard.
  2. Place food where birds can access it safely and where you can watch their antics.
  3. Provide much needed water for birds to drink and bathe in.
  4. Provide places for birds to nest and raise their young.
Attracting Birds Bird-friendly plants

Birds will flock to your backyard if you plant items in your yard that will enhance their life.

Cactus, such as prickly pear, sahuaro, cholla and a host of other species provide food, nesting places, and shelter. Prickly pear are a favorite with desert birds due to their tasty fruit (which they love) as well as the convenient cubbyholes for nests to raise thier young.

Wildflowers and native grasses are a favorite with desert birds also. The desert marigold has tasty seeds as well as making good cover for small birds.

Try a few grasses, such as Indian grass or little bluestem to privide shelter, seeds, and a safe place for some birds to nest.

Attracting birds with a Bird feeder

Feeding wild birds

Bird seed, feeders and commercial hummingbird nectar can be purchased at local garden centers, or grocery stores.

If you are short on cash, or just prefer the do-it-yourself route, you can make your own feeders from just about anything handy.

Hummingbird nectar is easy to make, and just as good as the store-bought version. To make your own, just add 1/2 cup of sugar to two cups of boiling water. Hummers eat insects for their protein. There is no evidence that these tiny birds need vitamin and mineral supplements.

It is also not necessary to add red food coloring to nectar. The tiny charmers will find the red-colored feeder and drink the nectar just as easily. Placing the feeder near red flowers can help also. Sugar water will ferment when left in the hot sun, which is deadly to hummers, so be sure to empty the feeder once or twice a week, clean it and replace the nectar.

Water for birds to drink and bathe in

Providing water for desert birds is an excellent method for attracting birds to your backyard. In a region where water is a precious commodity, the attraction to desert wildlife can be immense. A backyard pond or waterfall is a wonderful way to provide interest for humans, and has the added benefit of providing needed water for desert wildlife.

A birdbath can be purchased commercially, or one can be made from any shallow container. Birds prefer shallow water, so no more than two to three inches should be the maximum depth.

To attract additional birds, moving or dripping water has additional impacts for drawing birds to your water source.

Nesting choices for birds

Birds need a place to raise their young. Birdhouses can be purchased or made. In addition, birds like to have cover in brush, trees and grasses to build their nests. The flora of your backyard habitat will also provide handy twigs and grasses for birds to use in building their nests.

New! Learn how to create your own gourd birdhouse with this article by Judy Coates, expert writer from The Scoop on Wild Bird Feeders

Eggshells: Crush the dried eggshells from your breakfast and feed to backyard birds. This helps them create tougher shells for their own eggs.

Bird Species in the Southwestern US

You may see these varieties of birds in your Southwestern backyard, as well as many, many more:

  • Cactus wrens
  • curve-billed thrashers
  • Gambel's quail
  • Mexican Jays
  • yellow-eyed juncos
  • Steller's Jays
  • hummingbirds
  • sparrows
  • roadrunners
  • doves
  • woodpeckers
Wren Here's a resource for your gardening needs. Better Homes and Gardens is a name you can trust for quality products, great service, and items you're sure to need for attracting birds to your backyard.

FREE SHIPPING + $15 OFF orders of $100. Use coupons FXGS88X and SAVE15. Shop the Better Homes and Gardens Store.

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