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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  • 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
  • yep i do the microwave too....they don't break down in our compost so the birds get them!
    by ecumam2, Wed, 18 Apr 2018
  • As you probably know, sunflower seed hulls have a bio-chemical in them, (allelopathic), which keeps any other seeds from sprouting, in the same area. I have used this fact, to a purpose. With a large build up, each year (& yes, it is a bare spot!), I rake up the "bounty" & spread them on areas of bulbs & perennials to keep the annual weeds down. It's also helpful near blue squill bulbs, which drop seeds through the fence that divides a perennial garden, from the lawn , where they are welcome to naturalize. The garden can be over run with them, so sunflower hulls can keep the sprouting down.
    by Plntlady, Tue, 17 Apr 2018
  • I do this in a small garden, near our road, where winter road sand can build up & bury the small, low-growing plants that live there. In spring I just pick up the burlap & shake it back onto the road, before the road crew comes by with the street sweeper, in spring.
    by Plntlady, Tue, 17 Apr 2018