Bring Sound into Your Yard

Attract birds to sing in your backyard!

I spent four years in Agra, the home of the Taj Mahal in India. One of the pleasures of living there was the excitement of watching & hearing birds in our yard. Two birds with really delightful sounds were the ‘Koel‘ and the ‘Myena.’ What made their sound spectacular was when one bird started singing – the rest of them just jumped right in.

Bird watching has been an absolute delight, the sounds emanating from feathered friends make me relish this passion even more. I now live in South Carolina and here are five birds that I recognize – I know what they sound like, in fact I love their sounds & I think I know what it takes to attract them.

The Oriole is attractive and can grab someone’s attention even if their eyes are closed. I learned quickly that they don’t eat seeds but absolutely relish orange slices that I put out for them. Add a little jelly onto a plate & you have a feast for these beauties. I am not sure why, but I think that they sing better if I keep some water for them as well.

The Mourning Dove sound is so calming. I also appreciate the diligence with which they clean the seeds off the ground. It is funny to watch them try to shake some seeds loose off the feeder. They love the millet seed that most other birds push away. They enjoy many seed blends including nyjer seed.

My Chickadee friends are brave and fearless. They sound great and as more and more of them visit my feeders they get louder and louder. I have tried to walk up close to them and get as close as five feet before they fly away. They love sunflower seeds, black oil seeds, & of course are delight around the nyjer feeder.

The Carolina Wren is my ‘American Koel.’ They are tiny but stick their chest out and break into the most melodious of tunes. They enjoy seeds from covered feeders and relish seeds off the ground. Most days I treat them to mixes that include sunflower seeds and hearts. I really think they sing for seed.

The Mockingbirds in my yard are the ones that whistle back at me. It took me a full six months of birding to realize that ‘mock’ing birds mock you. I whistled tunes in my yard to be surprised to hear birds whistling back at me. Only later did I learn that it was the Mockingbird. The Mockingbird enjoys suet, fruits, & the berries of bushes.

People say that the Towhee sounds good as does the Blue Jay. They also say that the Cardinal makes a very sweet sound during mating season – I have never heard them sing though. I do see these birds in my yard, do help me out in terms of what food I can offer or what I can do to make them sing.

I’m still learning and would really appreciate your help. Thanks…

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  • r stewart March 13, 2010 at 4:59 am

    I am trying to put out more bird feeders. I understand I should use sunflower seeds instead of regular bird food.

  • Robby March 13, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Law! I hate starlings with a passion. The man who originally released those birds in Central Park should have been shot to my way of thinking. He did not do the US any favors by bringing a new bird in. Can anyone suggest ways to get rid of them in my yard at my feeders? As long as the starlings (and grackles) are at the feeders my songbirds will not come to the feeder. I guess they are afraid of them. I know that the starlings (and grackles) will attack other birds and will also eat their eggs and babies. The trashy birds (as I refer to them) leave a mess and make the worse noise! I just want them to go away!

  • Maria March 18, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    We have beenbombarded with both starlings and grackles also! Very much like the squirells we have learned to feed them seperately so they don’t disturb the smaller birds. We equally enjoy all of our visitors!
    Robby I have seen on Duncraft’s website a caged feeder that will prevent the larger birds from feeding…maybe a solution.

  • Gary March 23, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    When do the orioles start arriving, i live in iowa