One way to attract birds to your yard is to provide them with an attractive environment that has food, cover and nesting sites. Select plants that have beauty, utility and wildlife value. Flowering dogwood is a good example. The flowers are spring prizes and its bright red fruits are both showy and avidly sought by birds. The gray dogwood, while not quite as showy as the flowering dogwood, may be even better for birds who relish its white berries.
Since birds like variety in shade trees, shrubs and lawns, the place to start planning is to take stock of what you already have. Look at your neighbor’s yard also and take advantage of his plant materials.
If you are attempting to attract birds like cardinals, thrashers, catbirds or mockingbirds, select one of the hawthorne trees. If you are interested in attracting robins or bluebirds, plant junipers, because the birds are attracted to the blue berries.
Many oak trees make good insect foraging foliage for worm-eating birds. The trees also make excellent nesting areas.
Besides trees and shrubs, there are other opportunities to attract birds to your backyard. Plant materials that cling to a trellis provide a food source as well as nesting places for many birds. You also may want to develop a feeding area and provide various kinds of seeds to attract birds of specific species.