Ready to build your backyard bird sanctuary or need backyard bird sanctuary ideas? If so, let’s get started!


Turning your backyard into a bird friendly sanctuary is not difficult, but it does  take a little more than a few poles with bird feeders and a bird bath.  Attracting birds to a bird-friendly sanctuary needs to have these basic components: food, water, shelter, and nesting areas.


Attract birds using bird feeders is the start of turning your backyard blah into a beautiful backyard sanctuary.  Different types of birds like different types of food.

Cardinals like Black Oil Seeds. Blue Jays like seeds and nuts. Gold Finches like Nyjer seed and Carolina Wrens like suet (especiabird_backyardlly in the winter!)

The same goes for the plants that you use in your backyard sanctuary. Be sure to use native trees, plants and flowers that birds recognize as local food sources and shelter.

For example, in the southeastern states, exotic plants will not attract birds to your sanctuary.

Hint: I add plants that also attract hummingbirds and butterflies into my backyard sanctuary to brighten the area and attract lots of different types of winged beauties!)


Water is very important for birds. There is nothing more fun than to watch birds splash around in a bird bath during hot summer days! Birds need clean water to quench their thirst!birdbath

From personal experience, I do not like bird baths that are attached to the metal bird feeder poles. The water bowl is too small and gets very dirty quickly. I prefer stand alone bird baths that are slightly away from the food. They tend to hold more water and don’t require cleaning as often.

Shelter and Nesting Areas

Creating an area that provides shelter from birds of prey (i.e. hawks) or cats is important to make birds feel safe. When you are planting your grass and flowers, be sure to make the area very dense. If your sanctuary is in the back of the yard, be sure there are trees behind your bird feeder(s) and water fountains.

You can make a narrow pathway for you to walk (to refill the seed/suet), but make sure it is narrow and surrounded by grasses (such as Monkey Grass).  Commercial nesting boxes and bird houses can be purchased or made. Just be sure to have them at least 6 feet above the ground for protection!

HINT: A MESSY sanctuary is a beautiful sanctuary for your birds.  Leaf and lawn clippings create a rich source of worms for your birds and provide materials for your birds to build nests. A messy habitat also mimics their natural environment and makes them feel more at home.


How big should my sanctuary be? Backyard Bird Sanctuaries can be any size you would like. For beginners, I have found that small areas no larger than 10×10 are not as intimidating. I frame in an area with wood and then plant my flowers, shrubs and plants. The bird feeder is in the center of the area and the bird bath is in a corner.

Need a smaller space? Not a problem! A small bird feeder in a potted plant will attract hummingbirds and smaller finches for patio viewing pleasure.

Any suggestions or tips you would like to share? Please post your comments below! I would love to hear from you!



Backyard Bird Sanctuary: From Blah to Beauty — 4 Comments

  1. Since I moved to the country 8 years ago. I have found a love for nature and what came along with that was a passion for birds. I love to just sit on the front porch and watch them and listen to their little song. It’s so relaxing! Spring has sprung and the little birdies are coming out of the woodwork 🙂 I will be doing these tips very shortly. Thanks for sharing.

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