One of the best things about having a backyard is the entertainment that local wildlife adds to a homeowner’s enjoyment. When some of our friends in the Madison area sit out on their screened porch, they call it “Watching the Bird Channel” because there is never a dull moment in the activity.
Attracting birds and butterflies to your garden isn’t difficult and will add much pleasure to your outdoor living. There are a few simple components that will make your garden space attractive to birds and butterflies. The Pool People has some great tips for you on how to create a backyard that will invite birds and butterflies (just for Wisoncinites!).
What Birds and Butterflies Need
The National Wildlife Organization says there are four things necessary to create a backyard that will invite birds and butterflies to your garden.
- Something to Eat: Native plants provide food sources for birds and butterflies. These plants have adapted to the soil and weather conditions in your habitat and therefore thrive without much attention required on your part. Many of them bloom with the colorful nectar-loaded flowers birds and butterflies love. You can supplement what native plants provide with birdseed and a hummingbird feeder. Tray or platform feeders can be used by birds of all sizes. Sunflower seeds, millet, and suet are good choices.
- Water to Drink and Wash: Birds need a clean source of drinking water as well as a place to bathe. A birdbath is a great addition that will create a backyard that will invite birds and butterflies. Place some flat rocks near the source of water as butterflies love to rest on them and bask in the sunshine.
- A Place of Protection: Birds and butterflies need shelter to protect themselves from the weather and to hide from predators. Shrubs and hedges are popular retreats for wildlife in the garden. They provide good cover for birds and attract insects, which the birds like to eat.
- Space for Babies: Birdhouses and nesting boxes mimic natural habitats such as tree cavities and provide a place for birds to make nests and raise their young. A nesting box is a sure way to create a backyard that will invite birds and butterflies. A bonus is that you and your family will be entertained as you watch your birdhouse become occupied. Make it a fun family activity and have your young children each paint a birdhouse of their own.
What Plants Invite Birds and Butterflies to Your Backyard?
As previously mentioned, hummingbirds and butterflies are drawn to a variety of plants that are covered profusely with nectar-producing flowers. The National Federation of Wildlife says, “Adult butterflies are attracted to red, yellow, orange, pink, and purple blossoms that are flat-topped or clustered and have short flower tubes.”
These flowers are also very appealing to orioles, which feed on the same sort of plants that hummingbirds like such as trumpet vines, honeysuckle, and daylilies. The addition of these plants is a sure way to create a backyard that will invite birds and butterflies.
Create a Wisconsin Backyard That Will Invite Birds and Butterflies
What specific plants should you choose for your Wisconsin backyard that will invite birds and butterflies? There are many choices of flowering plants you can choose to plant in your Wisconsin garden that will invite birds and butterflies alike. Some annuals to try out are cosmos, zinnias, phlox, verbena, bee balm, geraniums, and fuschias.
Birds are especially attracted to flowers that are red, orange, and white. Butterflies are drawn to bright colors such as red, yellow, and purple. Hummingbirds do not seem to be very particular about flower color but like tubular-shaped blossoms they can sip from. The University of Madison says that butterflies are particularly fond of coneflowers, milkweed, black-eyed Susans, Queen Anne’s Lace, as well as the butterfly bush (named for a reason!).
It is actually an easy task to create a backyard that will invite birds and butterflies. Provide a variety of native plants as well as flowers that produce lots of nectar. Supplement with a bird feeder full of seeds and a hummingbird feeder with a homemade mix of sugar water. Birds also enjoy dried apples and pinecones spread with suet or peanut butter. Add a birdbath, some flat rocks for sunning, and a birdhouse or two and you will soon find that your Wisconsin backyard has become a haven for birds and butterflies.
And what better way to sit and enjoy your new backyard plantings and friends than with a quality patio furniture set from The Pool People? Download your free Patio Furniture Buyer’s Guide today to get started on an outdoor retreat you’ll love to visit time and time again. With industry-leading brands like Meadowcraft®, Lloyd Flanders®, HomecrestTM, Pawleys Island®, and more, you can design a backyard haven that’s the main attraction of your home. Stop in your nearest location to see in person your outdoor living choices!