May 9, 2018 | Featured in: Watching Backyard Birds, June 2018

A Bird-friendly Yard Is Insect-friendly, Too

Eastern kingbird feeding nestlings. Most backyard birds feed nestlings primarily insects—a high-protein diet for those fast-growing bodies.
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Most backyard birds—including most seed-eaters—feed their nestlings primarily insects—a high-protein diet for those fast-growing bodies. A bird-friendly yard, then, encourages caterpillars, spiders, grubs, moths, and other such invertebrates. Avoid using pesticides in and around your yard, but also, consider landscaping with plants that have been on this continent for thousands of years and are easily recognized as food sources by native wildlife—including insects. The National Wildlife Federation offers recommendations for native plants for each region of the U.S. Learn more on their website »



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  • The storm saying seems true so far. We had as party at our bird feeder right before our last storm... 6 at once but different cheeps cheeps would come and go so there were more than 6 for sure..and squirrels eating with the birds
    by Kimber timbers, Fri, 13 Jul 2018
  • I know and do clean my feeders both for seed and for hummingbird liquid. I have a vase full of different size brushes that are only for this purpose. I have friends however who NEVER clean their feeders or bird baths, and it’s gross! I am ringing this article and will have to give out to the few offenders I know. I can’t imagine looking at such mess and not cleaning it, but not everyone thinks resale. Part of responsible bird watching/loving is to make the time and take the effort to do this.
    by Carol, Tue, 10 Jul 2018
  • Can juniper titmice be found in eastern US? In Sourh Carolina? I swear we saw one!
    by Marnie Lynn Browder, Sun, 10 Jun 2018
  • Fascinating, how insightful both the humans and cheep cheeps are... Thanks for sharing.
    by Kimber timbers, Fri, 27 Apr 2018
  • #18 in the Gallery is misidentified as a Tree Sparrow, instead of Tree Swallow.
    by Ron, Mon, 23 Apr 2018