Create Bird Habitats in Your Landscape

Source(s): Stephen D Pettis

Create suitable habitats for birds through landscaping. Gardeners can provide birds with the things they need to survive and birds can provide gardeners with hours of enjoyment in the backyard.

Woodpecker on Snag
Woodpecker on Snag
Make the environment inviting
Make the environment inviting

Planning a landscape that is suitable for birds is easy. Sketch the existing landscape, making note of all structures, plantings and topographical features. Choose areas to plant trees and shrubs that birds can utilize. Annuals and perennials that flower throughout the season attract insects that birds may feed on. Standing dead trees will provide habitats for birds such as woodpeckers.

After making plant choices that provide food, shelter and cover for birds, artificial features should be considered. Water sources such as birdbaths, fountains and ponds may be added to landscapes to attract birds. The features should be in the open away from any place cats and other predators can hide. Rocks and water plants add to a water feature’s attractiveness to birds as well as keeping the water fresh. Man made birdhouses can be installed. These should be placed in sheltered spots near a shrub or tree. Finally, birdfeeders can be added. All bird feeders should be placed in the open near some sort of cover. Baffles and guards should be placed on mounting poles of both birdfeeders and houses to prevent predation.

Trees and Shrubs for Birds


Plant type


Birds attracted



Excellent nesting

Blue jays, sparrows, acorn woodpeckers



Excellent nesting

Robins, purple finches, mourning doves, warblers, sparrows


Large shrub


Towhees, thrashers, mockingbirds


Large shrub

Summer fruit

Warblers, grosbeaks, goldfinches


Small tree

Nesting, late summer fruit

Bell’s vireos, summer tanagers

American Beautyberry


Late summer fruit

Many birds

Native roses


Nesting, cover

Many birds

Eastern Red Cedar


Nesting, winter fruit

Sparrows, robins, mock-ingbirds, many others

Winterberry Dec. Holly

Small shrub

Late winter fruit

Robins, blackbirds, cedar waxwings

Attracting birds to one’s yard by birdscaping can be rewarding. Birds are not only beautiful and fun to watch, but also provide control of adult insects, grubs, and caterpillars. By improving suburban and urban landscapes, people can help replace bird habitat that has been reduced or destroyed by development. To learn more about attracting birds to your landscape, contact the Gwinnett County Extension Service at (678) 377-4010.


Squirrel proof feeders Spinners, flippers, trapdoors prevent pesky squirrels from robbing feeders
Platform feeders Feeds many birds at once
Tube feeders Plastic tube with staggered holes
Hummingbird feeders Glass feeders filled with sugar water (1 part sugar, 4 parts water; no red dye needed; boil and cool before use)
Suet feeders Wire suspended suet cake. Birds often hang upside down to feed.
Thistle feeders Narrow tube feeders
Peanut feeders Attracts woodpeckers
Window feeders Suction cups attach feeder to window




  • K. Lynn Davis, CEA- Turner County. The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
  • Brandy Wilkes, CEA- Cook County. The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Center Publication Number: 105

Steve Pettis
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