7 Ways to Protect the Birds in Your Yard

Birds are under attack! Not just from cats and other predators, but from environmental factors, too. Climate change, in particular, is taking a big toll on birds, according to this recent report from the National Audubon Society. Global warming is changing the habitats where many birds live, forcing them to move into different regions that may not offer the food and shelter they’ve evolved to expect.

One way you can help is by doing your part to use less energy. But it’s important to help protect the birds in your yard and neighborhood, too. Here’s how.

1) Provide a source of water. Set up some clean water sources that birds can use for drinking and feeding. Elevated bird baths that are out in the open are a good option, so that predators, especially outdoor cats, can easily be seen. Change the water every other day and scrub out occasionally with a wiry brush so that algae doesn’t build up on the bottom of the dish or bowl.

2) Elevate bird feeders. If you opt to feed birds, make sure the feeders are elevated as another way to protect against cats. You can also put a squirrel protector on the bird feeder. This inverted structure looks a little like an umbrella. Positioned below the feeder but on the pole, it prevents squirrels from getting to the seeds.

3) Keep your cat indoors, especially during the day. Cats can’t help themselves. They’re predators, and they’ll pounce on a bird if they get a chance. If your cat must go outside, try to restrict the time to after dark, when most birds will be safely roosting in the top branches of trees. You can also put a bell on your cat’s collar, which will tinkle and alert the bird that a cat is approaching.

4) Plant native plants and trees. Native landscape gives birds cover, food, and places where they can build their nests. You can check with your county extension service or local gardening center to determine which plants are native to your area.

5) Put up bird houses. Bird houses or nest boxes are especially helpful in urban and suburban neighborhoods where nesting trees may be scarce. Clean out the bird houses in late winter; after a while, they can get so filled with sticks and other material that there’s no room for the bird to nest.

6) Garden organically. Birds feed on insects, worms, seeds, berries and fruit that grow in your landscape. When you spray your lawn or garden with pesticides and herbicides, those toxic chemicals can poison the birds that eat them, as well. Skip the chemicals in favor of biological controls that maintain a healthy balance and keep the birds singing.

7) Reduce window strikes. Some scientists estimate that birds flying into windows that reflect the scenery around them may be second only to habitat loss in accounting for bird deaths each year. Hang bird feeders well away from windows. Tape long strips of mylar tape or weather-resistant fabric to your windows to scare birds away. Draw your shades at night so migrating birds will not be attracted by the light during their long journeys north and south. Awnings can also shade your windows and reduce the reflections that birds mistake for trees and forests.

How do you protect birds?


How to Create a Bird-Friendly Backyard

Protect Backyard Birds and Wildlife: Keep Pet Cats Indoors

How to Make Your Backyard Wildlife Friendly


Richard B
Richard B7 days ago


Richard B
Richard B7 days ago


Daniel N
Daniel N14 days ago


hELEN hEARFIELD1 months ago


Lesa D
Lesa DiIorio3 months ago

thank you Diane...

Sophie A
Sarah A3 months ago

Thanks for posting

Marija M
Marija Mohoric3 months ago

good tips, tks for sharing

Adria S
Adria S6 months ago

* use silent lawn mowers or motorless reel mowers

*close shades at night and turn off all the lights whenever possible
*use green and blue lights at night
*clean bird feeders regularly by soaking it in a 10% bleach solution and rinse the feeders thoroughly with water to prevent spreading diseases
* fill a glass with water from the kitchen sink and pour it outside where water collects to form a puddle (such as the end of the driveway or a dip in the sidewalk) for birds to drink or bath in.
*don't clean your windows
*for those who have indoor and outdoor cats (due to not having enough room inside to keep all the stray cats in your area), consider buying collars with bells for the outdoor cats to wear to give birds a warning (or buy birdbesafe collars for outdoor cats that help protect birds from cats)
* use window clings or a window film on the outside of windows that prevent bird window collisions
*cut the loops open for all plastic bags before throwing them away
*use screens on the outside of windows
* write a letter to the city council to use a flashing light for water towers and make outdoor street lights bird friendly
*write letters to make buildings standards have bird friendly features
*sign petitions to help birds
* don't use fireworks
*for those who want to have kids, limit yourself to having one child or two children at most or adopt instead. Sacrifice creating another human life to save an animal life.
*when outside, move slowly and quietly t

Sonia M

Good tips thanks for sharing.

Melania Padilla
Melania P3 years ago

Great tips, sharing