To turn your backyard into a winged haven, follow these simple suggestions:
Go organic. Never use pesticides or herbicides on your property.
Establish multiple habitats. Birds are drawn to areas where two or more habitats come together; create several in your yard for the birds' benefit.
Save deadwood. Designate woodland areas for the birds -- leaving dead trees standing (if this is not a safety hazard) and letting wood decay.
Provide a refuge. Create a brush pile in the transition area beside a woodland and its neighboring open field for birds to seek cover from predators.
Plant in multiples. One bird-supporting plant is good -- but five or seven or nine of something is even better.
Skip weeding. This is your excuse to leave some weeds behind the potting shed or some other off-the-beaten-track place. Let weeds go to seed, and the birds will love it.
Provide grass at different heights. Let some grass grow long to shelter birds. Mow other grass short to help ground-feeders hunt for worms.
Spread seeds. Pick seed heads of plants such as coreopsis and Rudbeckia to sprinkle in a meadow to increase the bounty of seed-producing wildflowers for birds.
Recycle. If you have pets whom you brush their hair, enclose it in suet cages and hang outside for nesting material.