ATTRACTING THOSE ADORABLE WARBLERS
….Compliments of Wild Birds Forever
Warblers bring welcome motion and sound to our gardens in summer. You may have overheard many avid birders boast about seeing a “Yellow -Rumped Warbler” or an “Orange-Crowned Warbler” on one of their birding expeditions. There are many species of warblers in North America with elaborate names describing their appearance.
Warblers are often referred to as the butterflies of the bird world. Warblers are small, colorful and extremely active insectivores, which flock in large mixes (usually six or more species) during spring and fall migrations. Most warblers can be identified as small birds with sharp, short beaks. They can be gray, olive, or green, many are patterned with bright yellow, red, orange, blue or black and white. Their underparts may be plain, streaked or striped. Although warblers are not always a common backyard visitor, you can attract these birds with our tips below. Once they discover your backyard, they will usually become frequent visitors!
ATTRACTING WARBLERS TO YOUR BACKYARD
Here’s some great tips on how to get these perky birds to visit your backyard:
- Warblers eat mostly insects and spiders. In fall and winter, they will eat seeds and berries.
- Offering suet is a great way to attract warblers. Suet is a great substitute for the insects they like to eat. Smear suet in the bark of a tree, offer suet cakes in wire cages or other specially designed suet feeders. We also have ready to use suet cakes available in a variety of flavors for home delivery.
- Water is one of the best attractions for all warblers. A birdbath, pool-like depression or an elaborate running water system works great. The sound of water dripping is often more attractive to warblers than a birdbath.
- Some warblers will visit your backyard feeding stations to eat black oil sunflower seed.
- Warblers prefer brushy areas, thicketed hillsides, chaparral, coniferous and oak woods, orchards, parklands and forest edges. Create ample cover in the form of brush piles or overgrown thickets. Warblers will readily use this type of shelter especially during migration in the fall.
- Plant some of their favorite trees: cypress, pine, oak, sycamore, or willows.
- Plant some of their favorite berry producing plants such as honeysuckle, sumac, blackberries, dogwoods, wild grapes, junipers, mulberries and bayberry. They also love poison ivy, so instead of cutting it down, consider leaving this undesirable plant for your warblers!
- Warblers like open air nests in the crotch of a tree. They will use plant material, plant fibers, cobwebs, bark and grasses to build their nests. Offer some of these nesting materials in an empty suet cage.
- Consider stopping the use of chemical pesticides in your yard. Let the warblers eat those pests! Try natural alternatives that are safe for birds instead.