Oct 23, 2019 | Featured Web Article

What to Consider When Providing Cover for Birds

To attract more birds to your yard and provide ample cover for most of them, try to install a diverse array of native shrubs and trees.

You're likely already well-versed in the art of providing food and water for backyard birds. But do you know how to effectively provide cover to attract and protect birds? There are several important factors to take into consideration when installing shrubs or positioning feeder stations in your yard.


The cover you provide for birds visiting your feeders needs to be close enough to provide refuge if a hawk or other predator suddenly appears in your backyard. If a bird has to scramble several yards to get to safety, the cover is not going to be as effective as something available a few feet away.


Bad news for topiary enthusiasts: If you can't shine a flashlight through your shrubs because the branches and foliage are too thick, they will not serve as good cover for birds. Make sure that birds would be able to enter and move about the shrubbery.


In general, an older tree or bush offers more cover than something younger of the same variety. Position your feeders near the older, more robust greenery in your yard.


Are you hoping that a specific tree or shrub will house a nest during the breeding season? Birds might select it if it provides adequate shade and protection from the wind and rain. Also, the less likely predators are to notice nestlings among the branches, the better.

Roosting & Preening

Just like humans prefer to be secure in their beds with a roof over their head when they're sleeping, birds have to feel safe when they're roosting. And similar to how we typically don't take showers in the streets, birds need cover to minimize their vulnerability as they preen.

Plant Diversity

Different species of birds are the most comfortable in different species of plants. To attract more birds to your yard and provide ample cover for most of them, try to install a diverse array of native shrubs and trees.

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