People love to see and hear birds and butterflies in the garden – there is something wonderful seeing nature alive amongst your trees and plants. Unless you are in a city apartment it is fairly easy to attract them to your yard.

By just providing what they need to live, you can have a habitat for them and other species such as bees and frogs. Little bowls for water, somewhere to land safely (e.g. a tree) and food then you will make a home for them to come to your yard.

bird in the garden

However, remember cats are predators and will hunt your birds if they can – try a bell collar, and if that doesn’t keep the birds safe, you have to make a choice!

And, also keep in mind that the neighbors also have cats! So when you place a feeding tray, water source or a birdbath make sure it isn’t made easy for a puss to pounce. That is, frustrate the cat!

The use of plants that are native to your area is critical as these are what birds will need to get the nectar from. It is an easy thing to do as it is part of your garden design anyway (or ought to be).

A garden that is full of plants, bushes and trees will attract more than one that has sparse growth and lots of lawn area or empty space. These critters need to feel secure. Lots of places for them to hide away in or alight onto will provide this for them.

Having dense shrubs will always provide them a place where they can hide if a threat appears.

As with other garden projects, planning is important. Draw a map of your back yard, and make a note of what plants and trees you have now, and which of those ones will attract birds and butterflies.

The local garden center will help you find appropriate plantings that birds and butterflies like. Like us, they have their preferences for plants to sip nectar from and where to lay their eggs etc.

Both butterflies and birds are attracted by a plants perfume and they like bright colors, especially reds, pinks, and oranges.

butterfly in the garden

This will almost naturally occur if you plan your garden to flower during the different seasons, plus ensuring that you have plants that feature fragrance as part of their attraction to you. (roses, wisteria, gardenias etc.)

Choosing plants that come into flowering or seed during each season will ensure a food supply all year round. Fruit trees are also a great resource – both for you and these critters!

Mind you, you might have to compete with the birds – perhaps leave one tree or a branch for the birds and net the others.

Locating plants in the corners of your yard also gives a sense of security for birds. Planting where they won’t feel trapped is important – timid birds will hesitate to go to plants that are too near the house or where there is a lot of human activity.

A shallow birdbath will usually attract birds – but, put it into the open so they can see around while they flutter in the water.

Don’t forget winter: Any birds around will still need water, especially if natural waters are frozen. Providing shelter, water and food, and a safe habitat for them will encourage birds to winter in your yard.

Sit back and enjoy your own back yard wildlife and nature reserve!