Attracting Birds To A Garden

Attracting birds to a garden is a like a marriage between flower lovers and bird lovers. A flower garden without bird life is an incomplete joy. One who eagerly watches for the first bloom of crocus in the spring, looks with equal anticipation for the first flash of a bluebird's wing or trill of a bird song.

The following list is to assist bird lovers and flower lovers so that they may best combine their pleasures; so that when they plant a flower, it will be not for their gratification only, but also for the benefit of the birds.

Indiscriminate planting may he changed into specialized planting with the objective of the attraction and feeding of birds.

White-crowned Sparrow

This beautiful bird brings a bit of the northern forest into the garden -when he stops to rest there for a few days in spring and fall. He will prolong his visit wherever he is provided with a generous supply of elderberries.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

The tiniest of birds and dainty as the clovers from which they feed, are the hummers. They love the sweets in red and orange colored flowers and are always to he found near the haunts of the jewelweed, cardinal flower, honey-suckle, wild bergamot and trumpet-vine. They are also fond of the nectar of salvias, cannas, nasturtiums, gladiolas, columbine, fuchsias and tiger lilies.

Cedar Waxwing

Shy, reticent cedar birds are lured near human habitations by choke cherries and mulberries. For days before the fruit is ripe, flocks of these crested birds may be seen in the trees anxiously watching for the first tinge of red on the green berries. Bayberries, wild cherries, wild grapes, elderberries, blackberries, and Juneberries, poke-berries and the fruit of buckthorn, red cedar, dogwood, juniper and mountain ash also attract them.


No bird enjoys greater popularity, or receives a heartier welcome in the springtime the American robin. His one iniquity, however, that of destroying quantities or luscious strawberries, cherries and other varieties of garden fruit, has given him many enemies.

Much of this loss can be prevented if wild fruits, such as mulberries, choke cherries, were grown among the cultivated varieties, for all birds prefer the greater acidity of uncultivated fruit.

Robins are also very fond of barberry, bayberry, mountain ash, red cedar, bush cranberry, dogwood, hackberry, jumper, buckthorn and elderberry.

White-throated Sparrow

The musical voice of the white-throat makes him an ever welcome visitor. He likes the fruit of mountain ash, barberry, black cherry, bush cranberry, dogwood, and elderberry, and both common and Japanese millet seed; if a copious supply of these is provided he may be induced to spend the winter months north of his usual winter range.


The "Nightingale of America" as he is sometimes called, feeds on the dried berries which cling to the branches of the holly, dogwood, smilax, Virginia creeper, black alder, juniper, barberry, elder, bittersweet and bayberry. Like the brown thrasher he seeks the protection of thickets and shrubbery.

Baltimore and Orchard Orioles

Beautiful, sweet voiced orioles love the scarlet fruit of the choke cherry and purple mulberries. Either is eaten in preference to ox-heart or other garden cherries. Juneberries, wild blackberries and elderberries, also, are greatly relished.


In late summer goldfinches frequent that part of the garden where the sunflowers grow. They like the black and white seeds better than any other food, and feed on them throughout the fall and winter. No prettier sight can be seen, in early fall, than that of a flock of these bright yellow birds clinging to the brown faces of the great blossoms. When sunflower seeds are not obtainable, the seed of bachelor buttons, chicory, cosmos and hollyhocks calls them.

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