Attracting Birds to Your Yard

Why would someone want to promote bird activity in their backyard? Birds are apart of the local ecosystem of your yard – and can provide a great many benefit to you as a home owner! (For example : Pest Control, Flower Pollination, Weed Control, Wildlife Conservation and even Stress Relief – they are so fun to watch!)

Attracting birds to your yard or garden is easy! All you need to provide is the basic necessities to meet their needs and keep them interested and returning.

FOOD: By supplying a variety of bird feed you will attract birds with different food preferences.

In early to mid May we expect the migration of the beautiful Baltimore Orioles through Manitoba – these birds are a wonderful addition to your common yearly bird but will only be a short visitor, so they are usually a popular one to try and attract. For hummingbirds and Orioles you will need nectar, which can be purchased ready-made or prepared at home.

  • Hummingbird Nectar – One part sugar – Four parts water
  • Oriole Nectar – One part sugar – Six parts water
  • Boil both mixtures to become a syrup (do not use food colouring or honey, which can be harmful to birds)

You can pick up the specific feeders here at Oakridge both for Orioles, which has a perch (just like the one pictured), and Hummingbirds. Besides the feeders many annuals and perennials, especially those with tubular flowers will attract Hummingbirds as well (ask us for suggestions).

For other backyard feeding options, Sunflower seed is great for Chickadees, Finches and Jays.
Nyjer seed is loved by Goldfinches, Pine Siskins and Purple Finches. Buy a good feeder that doesn’t waste seed as it is expensive.

Suet is a winter treat for Chickadees and Woodpeckers. Even though it is used mostly through the winter months, you should make sure that suet is available in very early spring. The babies need suet as their stomachs can’t yet digest seed.

Feed your birds through all the seasons of the year. Birds need food all summer as well as winter. Spring and Fall snow storms may stop birds from getting their natural food sources. If you don’t feed them they may parish.

Plan to have proper shelter for your birds as well! Plant shrubs and trees that will give them the shelter that they need and also some of the food sources to fatten up. Here is a list of trees and shrubs that can give your birds what they need.
Nanking cherry, Elder, Saskatoon, Mountain Ash, Sandcherry, Cranberry, Nannyberry, Flowering Crabapples

WATER: Provide a bird bath, fountain or fish pond for your birds. Be sure to always be refreshing the water to ensure that you don’t unintentionally breed the dreaded “Manitoba Mosquito” – which lay eggs in standing bodies of water.

NESTING SITES: Provide bird houses, nesting ledges, and plenty of shrubs and mature trees to provide cover and nesting sites.

If you do this, you’ll be rewarded with plenty of birds, less insects and less weeds to pull in your yard – and who doesn’t love seeing all the different types of birds that we get here in Manitoba!