Got birds on the brain? Since more folks have been working from home and cultivating their outdoor living spaces, we’ve seen a sudden interest in birdwatching! If you want to learn how to attract birds to your garden, here are three simple methods that are fast and effective. Before you know it, you’ll be living out your Disney princess dream, singing falsetto with a chorus of fluttering birds. Disclaimer: Dees’ Nursery is not responsible for any handsome princes appearing on a horse and immediately proposing marriage.   


How Do I Attract Birds to My Garden? 

While milkweed brings all the bees to the yard, if you’re looking to attract birds, we have some other methods in mind. There are three ways you can attract birds to your garden: 

  • Plant their favorite plants
  • Hang bird feeders
  • Install birdhouses or shelters

Here are some tips for each method to ensure you’re choosing the right products and approaches! 


The Best Plants to Bring Birds to Your Garden

Some plants are more effective at drawing in birds than others. Opt for the following varieties to get the best results!


Dees Nursery -How to attract birds to your yard-birdhouse with black eyed susan flowersNative Species

Flowering plants that grow in the wild in New York are ideal for bringing birds to your garden. In a nutshell, birds and other pollinators prefer flowers they recognize from home! Here are some great options for Long Island gardens:

  • Echinacea
  • Black-eyed Susan
  • New York aster
  • Blue flag iris
  • Highbush blueberry
  • Prairie rose
  • Virginia sweetspire

Imported annual plants won’t necessarily deter birds, and they don’t tend to be quite as effective as native species.


Red, Tubular Flowers

If you want to attract hummingbirds, your best bet is to plant bright red, tubular flowers! Red is their favorite color, and the tubular blooms act like cups of nectar from which the hummingbirds can sip. Try some of these totally tubular varieties:

  • Cannas
  • Summer snapdragons
  • Cardinal flower
  • Salvia
  • Honeysuckle vine
  • Red petunias or supertunias
  • Red columbines


Dees Nursery -How to attract birds to your yard-assorted bird feedHow to Attract Birds to Your Feeder

Hanging a feeder is an excellent way to attract birds to the garden fast, but you might be surprised at how greedy the squirrels can get! Follow these tips to prevent squirrels from hogging all the goods, get your feeder noticed, and keep it safe and clean for the birds!

  • Use a baffle. These dome-shaped attachments create an unsteady base so squirrels can’t latch on and eat up all the food. 
  • Practice good feeder hygiene. Clean and sanitize the feeder thoroughly before refilling it.
  • Buy spicy seed mixes to repel squirrels. Birds can’t detect capsaicin—the spicy stuff in hot peppers—but squirrels hate it! A spicy seed mix will ensure the birds get their fair share.
  • Sprinkle some seeds on the ground around the feeder. This will help draw attention so that the feeder doesn’t go unnoticed.
  • Mix in some nuts. Birds love Dees’ nuts!


  • Use a red nectar feeder with clear, dye-free nectar for hummingbirds. The red feeder will attract hummingbirds effectively—no need to use nectar with added chemical dyes.  
  • Place a water source nearby. Birds get thirsty and appreciate a cool-down from the summer heat, so placing a bird bath or fountain near your feeder will help attract them to the area. 


Bird Houses and Shelters

Birds quickly take advantage of safe, dry places to make their nests. Installing a bird house or shelter is a great idea, but you shouldn’t attach them directly onto your own house or patio. If a mama bird sees you walking closely past her nest, she’ll make a big fuss and may divebomb towards your head! Instead, install your birdhouse on its own pillar or on a tree that doesn’t get much foot traffic nearby. Hanging them up high will also help reduce the risk of angry mama birds.   


Dees Nursery -How to attract birds to your yard-mother bird feeding babyMake sure your birdhouse has ventilation holes—you don’t want the babies to get overheated or suffocated on a hot summer day! If you’ve got a wooden bird house lacking ventilation, you can easily drill some small holes in the sides. 


Now that you know how to bring all the birds to the garden on Long Island, visit Dees’ Nursery to stock up on all the necessary supplies like seeds, nuts, feeders, bird houses, and more! Now, time to do some vocal warmups before your backup choir of singing birds appears.