How to Bird Watch Like A Pro

There are so many things to love about Springtime: longer days, warmer temperatures, and color bursting from every branch in the form of leaves, flowers and backyard birds. 


Bird watching: it sounds like a hobby for old folks, right? The truth is, bird watching is nature’s yoga. Whether you go on a hike and actively search for birds or simply gaze out of a window, bird watching has proved to be excellent for reducing stress. It has even been shown to aid in calming and lifting the mood of dementia patients. Nursing homes that have created outdoor spaces to attract feathered friends have found that they have been able to reduce medication in patients who regularly participate in bird watching. 


You can easily attract more birds to your own backyard with a few simple elements:


1. Water

Birds are naturally attracted to water, not only to drink, but also to bathe. Birdbaths are a great addition to any yard or garden. Be sure to change the water every two to three days, if it lasts that long. Vigorous bathing or high temperatures can leave your birdbath dry in less than a day. However if you really want to attract more birds, install a water fountain. The sound of running water is a bird magnet, drawing them to the water source. The Elements 4 Life store has a variety of fountains in styles from formal to whimsical to contemporary. 


2. Food

Birds have many natural food sources in the spring, summer and fall, when berries, seeds and insects are plentiful. However they enjoy feeders as well. A variety of feeders placed around your yard will attract a larger variety of birds. Finches love thistle feeders, woodpeckers love suet feeders, and cardinals and other ground-feeding birds will appreciate a platform feeder full of sunflower seeds, safflower kernels or millet.


3. Shelter

Shelter can be shrubs, a brush pile, a nest in a tree, or a birdhouse. Birds use shelter to protect themselves from predators and the elements. Mockingbirds love holly bushes, and blue birds will build a perfect pine straw nest in a properly placed bird box. 


4. Foliage 

By planting a variety of foliage in your backyard you will attract a variety of birds. Different bird species have their preferences of foliage to call home. Shrubs under 5 feet tall, short trees and tall trees with sturdy branches are all prime bird real estate. 


If you really find yourself enjoying creating a backyard bird habitat, visit the National Wildlife Federation at for more information on how to garden for wildlife to learn to attract more than just birds!