Birds For Natural Pest Control
Attracting birds to your backyard is not only fun for birdwatching but can also serve as natural pest control. Spring is a time when migrating birds return to our yards to enjoy the warm weather. However, so do the many unwanted pests that prey on the new growth of our precious plants. Don’t get me wrong, not all bugs are bad. Actually, 95% of all insects are beneficial or harmless to people. So keep the insecticides on the shelf and reach for the birdseed instead (see also Other Bird Foods).
Most birds that visit your feeders are not interested in eating seed, but rather the live insects and other cold-blooded vertebrates that are flooding your yard come spring. Remember, not all insects are bad so get rid of that ugly bug-zapper and let nature do its thing.
- Crawling insects: Blackbirds, bluebirds, sparrows, crows, wrens, cardinals, bobolinks, and more
- Tree catepillars: Scarlet Tanagers, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, warblers
- Flying insects: swallows, nighthawks, flycatchers, warblers, swifts, Cedar Waxwings
- Tree-Crevice insects: chickadees, nuthatches, creepers, woodpeckers, Black-and-white warbler
- >>More on insect-eating birds
If you don’t already have birds flocking to your yard to gobble up those pesky grubs and aphids, then take a little time understand what attracts certain birds to your area. The basics to providing a healthy habitat for your feathered friends includes food, water, shelter, and a place to nest. >>More on bird basics
Other Bird Foods
- Suet cakes for western bluebirds, chickadees, jays, towhees, warblers, and more. Since suet can be quite messy, but commercial cakes are mainly convenient for humans, not so simple for the birds. Buy cakes that contain ingredients that are easy for birds to eat and avoid the slippery, fat-covered seeds that are hard to crack. >>More tips and how-to recipe
- Hang a pine cone covered with peanut butter outside a window for woodpeckers, chickadees, and titmice. PB is best served during cooler weather and be sure to only use small amounts. Imagine trying to swallow a PB & J without a glass of milk! >>More on peanut butter
- Halved fruits like oranges, berries, bananas, cherries, etc for orioles and tanagers. Chop up and soak raisins and currants for mockingbirds, catbirds, wrens, and thrashers.
Other Bird Topics of Interest
- Top Flowers For Birds
- Pests and Problems in Your Garden
- Backyard Bird Food Chart
- Birdseed Types
- Feeders For the Yardless