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Backyard Birds

It doesn't matter where you live -- in an apartment, townhouse, or single family dwelling, in the city, suburbs or country.  Just stand still and you'll hear them: wild birds.  It's hard to imagine life without them.

Bird watching is one of the fastest growing hobbies in the country.  It's easy to understand why.  Birds are fun to watch. And you can watch a variety of bird species just about everywhere.  The most convenient place to start is right in your own backyard.  All it takes to get their attention is water, food, and a place to build a nest.

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Landscaping for Birds Birding
Bird Feeders Volunteering
Feeding Waterfowl Education
Bird Houses  
Problems with Birds  

Landscaping for Birds

One of the easiest ways to get started in bird appreciation and conservation is landscaping for birds.  Planting bird-friendly plants will attract a wide array of bird species as well as other wildlife.  In addition to benefitting the environment, landscaping benefits you through energy conservation, natural insect control, food production, and increased property values.  To get started, you may want to look at our publication on Landscaping to Attract Birds. You can also contact your State wildlife agency for additional information and resources for acquiring plants native to your area. 

You may also be interested in the publication Birdscapes: News from International Habitat Conservation Partnerships which was a full-color magazine published in cooperation with the Canadian Wildlife Service. 


Bird Feeders

Whether you live in the city or the country, you can put food outside your door and birds will show their appreciation and make an appearance. That's all it takes. Once you get started watching the birds that come to your feeder, it's hard to stop.

Before you know it, you're learning bird names. After awhile, you'll start to recognize individual birds who use your feeder daily and possibly start to understand the subtle messages in their behavior and song. For more information, keep reading about Backyard Bird Feeders.

For more tips on bird feeders, fruit feeding, nectar feeding, and attracting birds with water, download our Bird Feeding Fact Sheet.

PLEASE KEEP YOUR BIRD FEEDER CLEAN! It is essential that bird feeders are kept clean to prevent the spread of disease, otherwise you may be doing more harm than good. Washing your feeder regularly is extremely important! For more information please read Coping with Birdfeeder Diseases.

Caution: Feeding Waterfowl May Be Dangerous!

Waterfowl complete a natural migration, traveling thousands of miles each year.  However, many are sidetracked when they stop to feed and rest in the lakes and marshes found in suburban environments.  Waterfowl often end up trapped in the middle of a conflict when one neighbor attracts waterfowl by feeding resulting in disease risk and property damage to other neighbors. 

If you care for waterfowl, help them retain their “wildness” and maintain their well-being.  Don't feed urban waterfowl. Get your binoculars and go birding.  Watch waterfowl as they pass through suburban environments, but please, Stop feeding them! They don’t understand the problem—you do.

For more information please read our Fact Sheet


Bird Houses

Our Bird House publication is designed to help you build or buy suitable homes--also known as, nesting boxes--for birds. Your success in attracting birds will depend on what you know about birds and birdhouse design. This booklet tells you what you need to know to get started:

Problems with Birds

Sometimes the birds themselves can be a nuisance, e.g. when woodpeckers decide to make a home in the wood siding of your house, eat fruit from your bushes and trees or fish from your pond.  Learn more about these and other topics at our Backyard Bird Problems site.

Last Updated: April 6, 2015
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