Planting for backyard wildlife/birds

Asked May 31, 2017, 9:29 AM EDT

I would like to know what to plant to benefit birds and other wildlife that visit my property. I have a large number of birds and would like to plant flowers and seed bearing plants to feed them as well as attract butterflies. This year I seem to have crows and blackbirds that eat all the seed I put out before the song birds get a chance to feed. Have not had this problem in the past so thought that natural growing plants may give the smaller birds a better chance at feeding.Thank you for your response.

Somerset County Maryland wildlife conservation landscaping gardening for birds and pollinators

1 Response

Enriching your landscape habitat for birds, pollinators, and wildlife is a great idea.
Adding plants that bloom can supply nectar for pollinators and hummingbirds and seeds for birds. Shrubs, trees and vines can provide shelter and berries.

The best way to go is with native plants, that is, those that have evolved along with our other flora and fauna and so need less care, but are also most valuable to our resident wildlife.
Birds need food and water sources, and shelter from the elements and predators to stay in our landscapes.
There are best ways to arrange these plantings that is beneficial as well.
A great publication to look at can be found at this link:https://www.nps.gov/plants/pubs/chesapeake/toc.htm
Be sure to read the first few pages, and then take a look at the plants that are listed. There are photos, and icons of the insects, birds etc. that are most interested in those plants.
Here too is our page on how to attract pollinators and beneficial insects: http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/insects/pollinators-and-natural-enemies

This page All About Birds from Cornell University is a great resource: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/browse/topic/feeding-birds/
Among other things, it will show you types of feeders that can favor the littler songbirds from those crows and blackbirds.

cm