Friday, May 18, 2012

Making Your Yard Bird Friendly

Tired of mowing the lawn? Let the grass grow a bit taller this year – and if the neighbors say something, tell them you’re creating a “bird friendly” yard. Taller grass means more bug habitat – bugs that provide nutritious meals for baby birds. Of course, that means that you’ve got to quit spraying insecticides, but they’re not healthy for you or the birds.

You can also plant some flowers for the birds. The bees and butterflies will sip nectar and collect pollen all summer, but come fall the birds will snack on the seeds. Here are some flowers that provide birdseed in the fall:
  •  Bee balm (Monarda)
  • Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
  • Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta):
  • Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus)
  • Lavender (Lavendula)
  • Sunflowers (Helianthus)  
Leave the dead flowers standing. You might think that a garden or dried up plants is ugly, but the nuthatches, titmice, and chickadees scouring the branches for insect and spider eggs will love it. So will cardinals and goldfinches harvesting seeds from the plants.

Check out what else is happening on STEM Friday.


  1. Oh--bird-friendly yard? So that's what I'm doing...Thanks, Sue. :-) PS--saw my first hummingbird tonight & put up the feeder!

  2. I have a bird friendly garden with several of the plants on your list. We have a bluebird house that has been occupied for a couple of years now. Your tip on leaving the dead flowers up is a good one. It works for me.

  3. Nice- we have these flowers, and the birds love 'em just as much as we do:)