Did you know that birds can help your garden thrive?
Our feathered friends aren’t just living ornaments adorning our trees or a sweet addition to our morning soundscapes — birds provide real, tangible benefits to our gardens!
Unfortunately, the bird population is in decline. Since the 1970s, North America alone has lost 29% of its total bird population.
But there are things we can do as individuals to provide a hospitable home to our bird buddies. And in turn, they can help our gardens thrive!
By attracting birds to your yard, not only will your garden thrive — so will you. After all, what’s more calming than enjoying the trills and chirps of birdsong as the sun rises each morning?
Here are 3 benefits birds offer your garden + 3 ways you can attract birds to your yard.
3 Benefits Birds Offer Your Garden:
1. Birds eat plant-eating pests.
At Stoney Creek Farm, we only use natural methods to control pests — rather than pesticides — like attracting beneficial insects to our gardens through various flowers. These beneficial insects then prey upon the pests that cause harm to our plants.
But did you know birds keep plant-eating insects in check, too?
Aphids, beetles, earwigs, flies, mosquitoes, moths, and spiders are all on the menu for different species of birds. In fact, scientists have determined that birds consume up to 550 million insects each year across the globe — if that’s not another reason to appreciate our feathered friends!
In addition to planting flowers that attract beneficial insects, consider cultivating a landscape that draws birds to your garden.
2. Birds pollinate your garden.
Bees and butterflies aren’t the only pollinators on the block.
Hummingbirds, orioles, and other nectar-sipping birds also provide pollination services for your garden flowers. Even birds that don’t sip nectar still naturally carry pollen between trees and bushes as they flutter about.
3. Birds help control weeds.
Anything that can help reduce time spent weeding — we’ll take!
Certain birds, like finches, towhees, and sparrows, dine on weed seeds, helping to keep these invasive, headache-inducing plants from spreading further into your garden.
3 Ways to Attract Birds to Your Garden:
1. Plant native species.
The best way to attract birds to your garden is by planting native species of trees, shrubs, and other plants that these birds are naturally drawn to.
Not only does cultivating a landscape of native plants attract birds, but it’s also more sustainable! Native plants require less upkeep on your part, since they have evolved to the soil, weather conditions, and environmental balance of your particular area over the course of hundreds of thousands of years.
If you’re local to Tennessee and the surrounding region, we created a list of 5 native plants that are great options for creating a sustainable, bird-friendly landscape.
If you don’t live in Tennessee, this website offers a list of plants native to each state.
2. Provide a water source.
Birds need water to drink and bathe in. Consider adding a bird bath to your garden, but be sure to replace the water daily to keep mosquitoes from using it as a breeding ground or bacteria from growing in standing water.
Even better, you can consider adding a bubbler or gentle foundation to your bird bath to create movement in the water. Not only does the movement reduce the risk of the negative effects of standing water, but birds are also attracted to the movement of the water.
3. Provide a feeder.
Like all wild animals, birds spend several hours of the day in search of food. This need for food increases even more in the winter, when keeping warm during a cold night outside can drain up to 10% of a bird’s body weight.
By keeping a regularly-filled feeder in your yard, you help to ease a bird’s burden of needing to forage for food. And of course, a feeder attracts them to your yard — allowing you to glean the garden-boosting benefits of birds!
Local to Middle Tennessee?
Join us on February 5, 2022 for our Kid’s Class: How to Make Homemade Bird Feeders
Introduce your kids to the fun and variety of birds as they learn how to make homemade bird feeders! You and your kiddos will learn how to make a variety of simple bird feeders using repurposed items such as pine cones and toilet paper rolls.
This class takes place on Saturday, February 5, 2022 at Stoney Creek Farm in Franklin, TN. All ages are welcome! Your ticket includes all supplies and instructions.