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Backyards for Birds

Bird and Butterfly
Backyard Habitat Tips

General Bird Plants

  • Heteromeles arbutifolia
  • Sambucus mexicanus
  • Cornus nuttalii
  • Myrica californica
  • Ribes sp.
  • Pyracantha cocinia
  • Arctostaphylos sp.
  • Rhamnus californica
  • Morus alba

Hummingbird Plants

  • Zauschneria fuchsia
  • Penstemon sp.
  • Salvia sp.
  • Justicia brandegeana
  • Mimulus sp.
  • Stachys sp.
  • Trichostema lantanum
  • Lonicera sp.
  • Arbutus menziesii

Butterfly Plants

  • Achillea millefolium

  • Aristolochia californica

  • Asclepias sp.

  • Buddleja sp.

  • Ceanothus sp.

  • Vitis californica

  • Lantana sp.

  • Passiflora sp.

  • Rosa californica

WATER

Water is an important element for birds in your backyard. One solution is to provide a simple birdbath you can purchase at your local nursery or hardware store. But if you really want to attract birds, running or dripping water always works. There are simple pumps or misters you can install in your birdbath. These can also be purchased at local nurseries or hardware stores. Misters can also be used alone. Hummingbirds love to fly through a fine mist, but the larger birds prefer the birdbaths. If you choose to use a birdbath, you will need to clean and refresh the water about every three days (depending on weather conditions). If you want to go all out, building a small pond with shallow areas and a waterfall or mister will work great.

Helpful Links to More Information

From the Cornel Lab of Ornithology

From WildBirds.com

Feeding Backyard Birds

Types of FeedBirds Attracted
Black-oil Sunflower Seedsparrows, juncos, goldfinches, titmice, nuthatches
Niger or Thistle Seedfinches, pine siskins, doves
Shelled Sunflower Seedswoodpeckers, siskins, goldfinches
Cracked Cornground-feeding sparrows, towhees, juncos & doves
Suetwoodpeckers, titmice, sapsuckers, creepers, orioles
Fruitswoodpeckers, orioles, finches, mockingbirds
Sugar Water (4/1 ratio)hummingbirds, orioles, warblers

WATER

Water is an important element for birds in your backyard. One solution is to provide a simple birdbath you can purchase at your local nursery or hardware store. But if you really want to attract birds, running or dripping water always works. There are simple pumps or misters you can install in your birdbath. These can also be purchased at local nurseries or hardware stores. Misters can also be used alone. Hummingbirds love to fly through a fine mist, but the larger birds prefer the birdbaths. If you choose to use a birdbath, you will need to clean and refresh the water about every three days (depending on weather conditions). If you want to go all out, building a small pond with shallow areas and a waterfall or mister will work great.

Helpful Links to More Information

What bird feeder is best for my yard? What seed should I be providing to birds? - From the Cornel Lab of Ornithology

Bird Feeding Basics - From Hilton Pond Center

Feeding Wild Birds - From WildBirds.com


Nest Boxes

COMMON CAVITY NESTING BIRDS IN CALIFORNIA

Species

Floor (in.)

Depth (in.)

Entrance (in.)

Entrance above floor (in.)

Height above substrate (ft.)

Chips

Wood Duck

12x12

22

4

17

6-20 (water)

Y

American Kestrel

8x8

12-15

3

9-12

10-30

Y

Barn Owl

10x18

15-18

6

0-4

12-18

Y

Screech Owl

8x8

20-24

3

9-12

10-30

Y

Downy Woodpecker

4x4

9

1 1/4

7

5-15

Y

Northern Flicker

7x7

16-18

2 1/2

14-16

6-30

Y

Ash-throated Flycatcher

6x6

8-10

1 1/2

6-8

8-20

Y

Oak Titmouse

4x4

9

1 1/4

7

5-15

Y

Wht-breasted Nuthatch

4x4

9

1 3/8

7

5-15

Y

Tree Swallow

5x5

6-8

1 1/2

4-6

4-15

N

Bewick’s Wren

4x4

6-8

1 1/4

4-6

5-10

N

House Wren

4x4

6-8

1 1/4

4-6

4-10

N

Western Bluebird

4x4

8-12

1 1/2

6-10

3-6

N

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