Here's What You Need To Plant In Your Garden To Attract Backyard Birds

There are few things that really scream springtime like green sprouts poking out from the soil, and the chirping sounds of birds that have returned from their migrations. For those who love to garden and love the cheery sounds of our feathered friends, why not combine the two by choosing plants that actually attract birds? It's possible to have the best of both worlds! Your planting zone, soil type, and amount of daily sunlight will determine which plants are the best for attracting birds to your particular area. Thankfully, there are many different plant varieties to choose from. 

Researching and choosing plants that are native (naturally occurring) to your planting area is a good first step in attracting birds. Native plants are beautiful, tend to thrive without the use of pesticides and herbicides, and are already adapted to the particular soil and climate conditions in your area. And, of course, birds often love them (via National Audubon Society).

For example, sunflowers are the king of seed-bearing flowers and are especially helpful for birds since they use the seeds to fuel their migrations. Coneflowers, such as purple echinacea, attract butterflies and other pollinators during the summer, and provide nutritious seeds for birds in the fall. So if you're a gardening newbie afraid of making mistakes, don't worry, we have the answers you're looking for. 

Choosing the right plants for your area will attract backyard birds

So you know that you want as many backyard birds as possible, but you're not exactly sure where to start when it comes to flowers to plant. Don't worry, we have all the information you need to know. Let's start with marigolds, since they are easy to grow. As noted by SFGate, marigolds are local to Mexico, South America, and the southwestern United States (think Arizona and New Mexico). They're long-lasting, and attract a variety of birds, bees, and other pollinators. Fan of butterflies? Milkweed is for you. The plant is usually associated with Monarch butterflies, but also attracts a lot of insects, which in turn brings plenty of insect-eating birds. And, bonus — the flowers are lovely.

There are many other flowers that will attract birds — daisies, native asters, black-eyed susans, cardinal flowers, and more (via Masterclass). Beyond flowers, though, there are other ways to attract birds, too. Several flowering vines and shrubs — like trumpet honeysuckle, elderberry, and dogwood — are bird favorites, and if you're partial to hummingbirds, consider planting naturally occurring red plants. 

Think you don't have room for a flowerbed? Consider transforming some of your lawn — which does little for wildlife — into garden space. Not only will you add beauty to your yard, but you'll have less to mow, too. And as a final attraction for the birds, provide some water. A simple birdbath will not only be appreciated by your backyard visitors, it will increase the amount of time they stick around (via Birds & Blooms).