A Gardener’s Guide to Growing Birds

No sooner have the winter holidays passed than signs of spring begin to sprout in the stores and advertisements.  Snow and ice not withstanding, ads are trying to whet my appetite for a new pair of summer sandals.  It was interesting to find a packet of seeds for a compact Eggplant that can be grown in containers at my arboretum gift shop next to the pricey designer garden tools. And today I got the e-newsletter alerting me to put my favorite local annual flower and garden show on my March calendar. 

As I enjoyed looking at the seed packets in the supermarket this week, I reflected that birding and gardening go together.  I envisioned the birds I could attract to my garden and butterflies too.  Since I’m a container gardener, I don’t have as many options as those with larger planting areas.  But our groundskeepers planted new bird and butterfly gardens in common areas of my sub-division last summer.  It will be fun to watch them grow and invite wildlife. 

Okay, so I am exaggerating just a wee bit to suggest you can grow birds in your garden.  But if you think about it, sometimes it almost appears as though birds are growing on those plants you nurtured in order to attract them. 

American Goldfinch on Thistle

American Goldfinch on Thistle

Have you ever grown sunflowers just to see handsome yellow Goldfinches clinging to the full flowers to get their fill of seeds?  The tall, mature flowers bend under their own weight and the added weight of the birds.  The birds don’t care if they are hanging upside down.  They cling to the plants and almost appear to be little feathered flowers themselves.  It’s the same with cone flowers.  And a walk in the nearby restored prairie allows glimpses of those Goldfinches snacking on thistle seeds. 

Do you have any favorite flower seeds you plant to attract birds?  Share your ideas!

This entry was posted in bird watching, Birding, Wild Birds and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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