Jonathan Franzen writes about and seeks birds. He goes on trips to different parts of the world in search of strange and wonderful species. Just to observe them, contemplate them for a moment, and keep them in his memory. These are some of the reasons for which he loves birds: “They sing. They fly. You can actually see the whole animal taking wing. They make nests. Flight, the complexity of their behavior, their beauty, and I’ve already mentioned song, but I’ll mention it again.

Those who, unlike Franzen, are unable to travel the world to look at birds can, however, make some modifications to their house and garden that will contribute to making birds come to them. The benefits of observing and listening to birds in an urban context are innumerable. The Romantics knew how to appreciate their ancient song, which predates humankind. Observing birds that fly in and out of one’s garden or a park helps to establish a connection with natural cycles and rhythms. Birds, with their hollow bones, carry air in their bodies, and as such observing them also serves as inspiration, as a metaphor for lightness and travel.

Here we present 10 methods to attract birds back to cities, help them in their journey, and bring them to your garden:

  1. Sow endemic plants. The introduction of ornamental plants, the widespread planting of lawns and the scourge of deforestation have destroyed birds’ natural habitat. Sowing endemic plants helps to recover the ecosystem and bring the birds back.
  2. Switch off the lights. City lights disorientate birds that fly and migrate by night. Switching off the lights helps to reduce light pollution and the number of birds losing their way.
  3. Build refuges for birds. Bird boxes, those little wooden or plastic nests, help birds to have better chances of survival.
  4. Plant bushes that produce berries. There are many types and almost all of them attract birds.
  5. Reduce lawn areas. Instead of grass, sow plants, trees and endemic brush, or long grass where birds will find food.
  6. Put signs on the windows. One of the main causes of death among birds in the city is crashing into windows. There are many ways to solve this, hanging blinds, or placing a very closed net a few centimeters from the window so that birds bounce off but don’t crash, or drawing vertical lines on the window.
  7. Gather piles of leaves and branches. Birds will find refuge there against extreme weather.
  8. Plant evergreen trees. Tress with leaves all the year round are a good refuge for birds.
  9. Pile leaves underneath bushes where insects that birds feed on can live.
  10. Build a fountain, which can be very attractive to birds, particularly in summer. There are few things more life affirming than seeing a bird soak its wings in water.

 

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Image by Tatters/Flickr

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Jonathan Franzen writes about and seeks birds. He goes on trips to different parts of the world in search of strange and wonderful species. Just to observe them, contemplate them for a moment, and keep them in his memory. These are some of the reasons for which he loves birds: “They sing. They fly. You can actually see the whole animal taking wing. They make nests. Flight, the complexity of their behavior, their beauty, and I’ve already mentioned song, but I’ll mention it again.

Those who, unlike Franzen, are unable to travel the world to look at birds can, however, make some modifications to their house and garden that will contribute to making birds come to them. The benefits of observing and listening to birds in an urban context are innumerable. The Romantics knew how to appreciate their ancient song, which predates humankind. Observing birds that fly in and out of one’s garden or a park helps to establish a connection with natural cycles and rhythms. Birds, with their hollow bones, carry air in their bodies, and as such observing them also serves as inspiration, as a metaphor for lightness and travel.

Here we present 10 methods to attract birds back to cities, help them in their journey, and bring them to your garden:

  1. Sow endemic plants. The introduction of ornamental plants, the widespread planting of lawns and the scourge of deforestation have destroyed birds’ natural habitat. Sowing endemic plants helps to recover the ecosystem and bring the birds back.
  2. Switch off the lights. City lights disorientate birds that fly and migrate by night. Switching off the lights helps to reduce light pollution and the number of birds losing their way.
  3. Build refuges for birds. Bird boxes, those little wooden or plastic nests, help birds to have better chances of survival.
  4. Plant bushes that produce berries. There are many types and almost all of them attract birds.
  5. Reduce lawn areas. Instead of grass, sow plants, trees and endemic brush, or long grass where birds will find food.
  6. Put signs on the windows. One of the main causes of death among birds in the city is crashing into windows. There are many ways to solve this, hanging blinds, or placing a very closed net a few centimeters from the window so that birds bounce off but don’t crash, or drawing vertical lines on the window.
  7. Gather piles of leaves and branches. Birds will find refuge there against extreme weather.
  8. Plant evergreen trees. Tress with leaves all the year round are a good refuge for birds.
  9. Pile leaves underneath bushes where insects that birds feed on can live.
  10. Build a fountain, which can be very attractive to birds, particularly in summer. There are few things more life affirming than seeing a bird soak its wings in water.

 

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Image by Tatters/Flickr

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