Gardening and birdwatching often go hand-in-hand. Not just because they both involve an appreciation of nature, but because insect-eating birds often keep garden pests under control. Nearly all birds–even the tiny hummingbird and other nectar feeders–consume insects as a source of protein. Attracting and keeping birds in your yard provides you with natural insect control, enhances the natural beauty of your yard and rewards you with a morning chorus as well.
Provide shelter for birds near your garden. Shrubs and trees provide places to escape from enemies--such as predatory hawks--and provide areas for nesting. Consider fruiting shrubs such as chokecherry, mulberry and dogwood to attract birds.
Plant seed-producing flowers such as asters, sunflowers and cosmos. Although you may think this is counterproductive, it isn't. Many seed-eating birds also eat insects.
Add a water source to the garden area. Fountains, bird baths or streams all attract birds, but running or moving water is best, as birds are attracted to the sound. Keep the water clean and fresh by changing it frequently.
Erect birdhouses around the perimeter of your yard or near the garden. Not only will the adult birds help control insects in the garden, fledglings will have easy access to food when they leave the nest.
Hang bird feeders filled with sunflower seeds or other wild birdseed to create an inviting atmosphere for birds. Several feeders hung throughout the yard will attract the widest selection of birds.