1. Put up a birdfeeder
You can enjoy watching birds at your feeder year-round, or just in the winter when natural foods are tougher to find, especially with snow cover or very low temperatures.
2. Put up a birdhouse
Depending on where you live, a birdhouse can make a cozy cavity for the nest of an eastern bluebird or house wren.
3. Keep feeders and birdhouses clean
- Wash feeders every now and then to prevent the spread of diseases between birds.
- Clean out birdhouses after the nesting season to give them a fresh start for the following spring.
4. Keep cats indoors
Outdoor and feral cats kill billions of birds each year. Keep cats indoors when possible, especially if you know young birds are about to fledge and leave a nest. They may end up on the ground for a few days before they can fly. Place bird feeders in open areas so birds can see if a cat is approaching.
5. Landscape with native plants
- Plants native to Missouri provide seeds and attract insects — both make tasty treats for birds in your yard!
- Native plants also can provide shelter from weather and cover from predators.
6. Keep your yard a bit less tidy
Consider letting a portion of your yard go a bit “wild.” Shrubby areas provide great cover for birds, leaf litter houses insects for them to eat, and brush piles do both!
7. Prevent window strikes — put up silhouettes
If birds are flying into windows on your house, put bird silhouettes on the outside of your windows, or netting on your windows so birds can see that they cannot fly through them. Audubon has a few suggestions for bird mishaps.
8. Reduce pesticide use — let birds eat insects in your yard
Many birds depend on caterpillars, moths, and other insects for food. Reduce the amount of pesticides used in your garden and on your landscaping — the birds will thank you!
9. Join the Missouri Birding Society or your local Audubon Society chapter
Local bird organizations, like the Missouri Birding Society or National Audubon Society chapters, host birding field trips, meetings, and other group activities that offer instruction on bird identification and conservation education. Reach out and meet a new group of people that share your love of birds!
10. Join a bird conservation organization
Many national conservation organizations do a lot to help birds: the National Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, and Ducks Unlimited are just a few.