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  • Writer's pictureAri Tenenbaum

How to Bring Birds Into Your Yard

As you crack the door to head out to the yard, the birds take notice of you. Hummingbirds may buzz by to check you out, but most other types will quickly wing there way into a nearby tree or some other safe hiding place. As you settle into your favorite outdoor chair and pick up where you left off in your book, the birds start to get comfortable with you in the yard. Within a few minutes, the birds are back to business as usual whizzing about collecting sticks, making nests, eating bugs off plants, delivering goodies to their young, playing with and/or warding off other birds.

A red bellied House Finch plucks a worm this this Solana Beach meadow landscape. Photo by Maryann McCarter

There is actually quite a lot to observe in a healthy landscape full of life! Attracting birds to your yard in San Diego is relatively easy to do but so obvious that many people overlook the key lure – a water source. Bird feeders, natural landscapes with lots of bugs to eat, pesticide and herbicide free yards all help contribute to an environment where birds want to hang out, but in San Diego, by far the most vital need of our bird friends is fresh water. With about 10-12 inches of rain per year, we really are living in a desert and while regular irrigation may help to quench thirst for short bouts of time during the day, the most attractive thing you can provide for your birds is a water feature.

Water features can range widely in style, function, and of course budget. When we look for water features that work well for a bird friendly landscape, we are looking for ones that pool in a shallow bowl where birds can stand or pirch on a lip. Birds like to bath and drink in calm pools that are consistently replenished with new water via a pump. We do not like water features that cause a lot of splashing and in most applications we prefer ones that are self-contained meaning that the water collection basin is actually attached and the pump is easy to access.

A Yellow Oriole finds a perch between dips in the nearby fountain. Photo by Maryann McCarter

Besides the benefit of bringing beautiful feathered friends to the yard, water features can omit the tranquil sound of running spring water. If you are interested in natural landscapes, you may also be interested in checking out our friends at who specialize in ‘authentic’ travel experiences around the world.


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