5 Ways to Attract Wildlife to Your Window

August 25, 2022

Out in the country or right in the heart of the city, there is wildlife all around you. Sometimes it’s easier to find local critters, but more often than not you’ll need to put some tips and tricks into practice to draw wildlife close enough to view from inside. No matter the season, you can attract a beautiful bit of nature to your yard. Here are some top tips. 

 

1. Provide a Food Source

The most obvious wildlife to attract to your windows are birds. Local populations vary based on available food, time of year, and migration routes, but there’s always a hungry and opportunistic little beak just waiting for a tasty morsel to dig into. Bird feeders can be hung from a close by tree limb, a specially mounted hook, or you could choose a model that attaches to the window pane itself or slots into the windowsill. This will allow for up-close viewing of their lovely plumage and their sometimes hilarious antics. You can become familiar with different birds’ calls and songs, and learn which type of seed mix appeals best to your local flock (we love black oil sunflower seeds). If hummingbirds are your favorite, you can find a whole range of feeders that will attract them. Just be sure to regularly clean and refill feeders with their favorite sugar solution (1 part sugar, 4 parts water, hold the food dye please!).

If squirrels and chipmunks are common in the area, a flat feeder that offers nuts and seeds will bring them close to the house, while also attracting brilliant blue jays and other hungry birds. If you want to keep squirrels off of feeders, there are special attachments to prevent them from stealing all your birds’ meals. And if you opt for a window feeder, be sure to have a size large enough to accommodate the largest bird that might stop by for a bite. Beyond seeds and nuts, many birds appreciate a mix that includes mealworms, suet, and dried fruit. Above all else, be sure to keep feeders clean to avoid spreading disease or attracting undesirable pests.

A word of caution: if you are attracting birds close to your home, window strikes can happen and could be deadly. Keeping feeders very close to the home or windows–less than three feet is what studies have found–greatly reduces the chance of a fatal window strike. Between 15 and 30 feet away is the danger zone. If you can’t attach feeders to your windows, then install decals or some other product that will allow birds to see the glass. And if a catastrophic crash does happen, know that Fairview Home Improvement is here, with replacement windows and fast, reliable service.

 

2. Offer a Water Source

More straightforward than food, water is universally needed and sought out by birds, mammals, amphibians, and all other life forms. This could mean a small, shallow dish with pebbles and rocks that allows butterflies and bees to stop and take a sip while they’re busy gathering pollen and nectar. You could also have a bird bath set up to allow for a full body washdown. Since birds will also be likely to drink from a bath, make sure it’s regularly cleaned with a non-toxic product and kept topped up with fresh, cool water. Moving water is always a draw, and even hummingbirds will swoop in for a drink while on the wing. Small solar fountains mean that you don’t need to redo your entire landscape to attract your favorite local wildlife. 

Siting your water source close to your windows means that you can also enjoy the tranquil sound of moving water while working from home or handling daily chores. If your current windows have less-than-secure screens or don’t easily stay open, it could be time for replacement windows–Fairview Home Improvement can help. And if you’re feeding birds year round, either add hot water to the mix on a daily basis or use a heating device to keep it from freezing solid on the coldest days of winter.

 

3. Make a Safe Shelter

For any wildlife to come close enough to your home for you to enjoy their visit, they will need to feel safe and secure. That means siting your food and water offerings in an area that won’t leave visitors exposed to an easy attack from a predator. House cats are a top risk for birds and other garden visitors. Keeping them inside means that you will get more action at feeders while also having peace of mind. At the very least, be sure that feeders are high enough off of the ground to be out of reach of paws and claws. If your cat wears a collar, attaching a bell gives feeding birds a heads up that a predator is on the prowl.

Shelter also means that your yard and the areas close to your windows should offer spots for birds to perch and nest, and bushes or trees to duck into if they feel threatened. So many birds enjoy perching atop a post or elevated railing, as they can easily survey the land and look out for approaching threats. Your feathered friends and all other wildlife you’re looking to attract will also appreciate a ready-made home, in the form of a bird box, bat box, butterfly box, bee or bug hotel. Just be sure to take the time to research before buying or making these, as very specific measurements are required for the health and safety of your house guests. 

 

4. Choose Plants Carefully

If you’re looking to attract some other local wildlife, the best way is to learn what they eat and offer that within clear sight of your windows, so you can enjoy their visit without disturbance. That could mean actually putting out food, but it could also mean planting trees, shrubs, or annual and perennial flowering plants that they will most utilize. Understanding when and how insects and birds act as pollinators will help you to choose a wide variety of flowering plants to attract the largest number of creatures to your garden. Site key plants close to your windows so that you can see nature in action, and include plants that flower from early spring to late fall to tempt wildlife into your space for the majority of the year.

 

5. Implement New Gardening Practices

Many homeowners are now trying to plant a higher percentage of native trees and shrubs to better serve their local wildlife populations. Choosing hardwood trees that are slow-growing also means that you won’t have to be as concerned about untimely limb drops that could crash into your home and create the need for replacement windows or cause damage to entry doors or your roof

Smaller, more ornamental trees that provide food sources like fruit, berries or nuts are also a great addition to your garden. Work with a professional to decide on plants best suited to your climate, soil, and light conditions so that you can have a low-maintenance planting that does double duty as a wildlife attractor. And if you live in an area where you don’t have many restrictions on how you use your property, consider leaving a small strip of your land to grow up into a wilderness area that mimics a meadow. This will provide natural habitat for countless species as well as another ready food source for others. Encouraging all links in the local food chain will get you the widest variety of garden visitors. 

A word of caution: During the growing season, it’s best to limit or avoid use of pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides as they will disrupt the food web that supports the very wildlife you’re trying to attract.

Ensuring that branches and brush are cleared away from windows will allow you to have the best vista from indoors, no matter the season. But don’t be too quick to clean up the garden in fall. Leaving the seed heads of spent flowers and grasses intact will provide easy forage for birds in the lean, cold winter months. Flower stalks also can become overwintering spots for beneficial insects that will help the health of your garden come spring and provide early food sources for garden visitors. And the fall leaves that we are all too eager to rake up can protect wildlife when left in garden beds. Build them a good home, and they will come.

 

6. Replacement Windows Let the Light In

Fairview Home Improvement customers know that our replacement windows allow for maximum viewing area while also protecting your interior spaces against UV rays, heat and cold.

Adding a picture window allows you to enjoy the full view of your outdoor spaces, taking in nature’s beauty, whatever season you’re in. Fairview Home Improvement has high-quality replacement windows available in every style and energy efficiency level you could want. Reach out to us and our skilled team will be in touch–we can’t wait to help beautify your home. 

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