Birds in the Garden:


Creating a Haven for Colorful Birds in Your Yard

Birds bring many benefits to our lives.  They fill our gardens with song, bring a spark of color and interest to our winter landscapes, and also eat many garden pests.  Attracting birds to your landscape is fun.  Their needs are easy to meet and just about everyone can achieve success by providing them with three basic things:  shelter, water, and food.


Here at Nobles Greenhouse we offer a wide variety of bird friendly trees and shrubs.  Some provide shelter and others provide food.  Evergreen trees or shrubs, or a tall canopy of shade trees provide you with the element of shelter.  Birds need protection during feeding and bathing from cats and other predators.  Try to position feeders and birdbaths close enough to natural shelter so that birds can perch safely between trips to the feeder, but yet far enough away so that they don’t make an easy target for the neighbor’s cat.

Water can be the most alluring aspect of your landscape.  The sound of splashing water is relaxing and will also attract colorful birds.  Birdbaths and small fountains are great accents for your yard and will provide your new guests with one of their most basic requirements.  You’ll find an amazing array of birdbaths and fountains sure to please both yourself and your feathered friends.


Consider placing your bird feeder adjacent to your water source.  If birds are having difficulty finding your feeder, tie a strip of aluminum foil to the feeder so that it hangs and twists in the breeze.  The movement of the shiny foil will catch the bird’s attention.  Once you have attracted birds to your yard, you don’t want to play hide-and-seek with the food source.  Everything you need from feeders to hangers and shepherd’s hooks are all available at Nobles Greenhouse!  Feeders can be hung from tree limbs, mounted on a freestanding pole, or even hung from a shepherd’s hook that held a hanging basket in the spring.  To stock your feeders we recommend Nobles Belly Bustin’ Buffet for Birds.  Our hand mixed bird seed contains the perfect seed combination for attracting birds.  With sunflower seed, sunflower hearts, safflower, peanuts, niger and white millet you’ll attract the greatest variety of wild birds possible.

nursery-pokemar-002-150x150Another helpful tip is to scatter some seed on the ground around your feeder.  This will attract mourning doves and other ground feeders.  It’s easy to create a safe haven for birds in your yard.  The enjoyment they bring will last a lifetime!

Trees & Shrubs for Attracting Birds

Plant Name






Black Cherry x x S D M
Black Gum x x S D L
Blueberry x x S D S
Dogwood x x F, W D M
Elderberry x S D S
Hawtorn x x Sp D M
Holly x x W, Sp E M
Japanese Yew x x S, F E M
Magnolia x x S E L
Mulberry x Sp, S D L
Nandina x x F, W E S
Oaks x x F D L
Pines x Sp—F E L
Pyracantha x x F, W E S
Red Cedar x x F, W E M
Red Maple x Sp D L
River Birch x S, F D M
Sumac x F, W D M
Sweet Gum x S, F D L
Viburnum x x W E S
Wax Myrtle x x S, F E M

To make your yard more suitable for birds, conduct an inventory of trees/shrubs in your landscape and develop a table similar to that in this article.  From this list, a) determine the mix of evergreen and deciduous trees, b) look at the time of fruiting and identify season(s) without food supply, and c) ensure that adequate cover and nesting habitat is provided.  The following are two examples of possible situations in your yard and how to use the chart.

You have very few evergreen trees/shrubs (hence minimal shelter in the winter) but also have only small areas for additional plants. Select plants that are classified as evergreen (E) and are small sized at maturity.  These plants (red cedar, nandina, viburnum, pyracantha, Japanese yew, holly, and wax myrtle) are relatively small trees.

You need a food source for the spring but have a limited yard available.  An excellent solution is to plant hawthorn, especially mayhaws. They are a small multi-stem shrub that bear fruit in spring and attract a wide variety of birds.
In most instances, you will find that the addition of a few carefully selected plants can increase the bird population in your yard.