Gardening For The Birds

 

By Amanda Shepard

Birds are some of the most fascinating creatures to watch in the garden. Their chirps are often the first sign that spring has arrived, and nothing is better than sitting back and enjoying the sounds of nature in your yard. There are several ways to create an environment that will attract and help our winged friends! Plant a garden that provides food and shelter for birds to create a beneficial, lively habitat in your own outdoor space.


How To Find The Right Plants For Your Bird Garden

We've made it easy! Filter our plants and wildflower seeds by your zone, your region, and by advantages such as "native" and "attract birds." Just look for the filters on the left side of your page while shopping.  

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6 Tips For A Bird-Friendly Garden

  1. Clean WaterProvide a clean source of water for birds. The sight and sounds of moving water in bird baths or water features will attract birds much more effectively than standing water, and helps keep the water clean. Water only needs to be a couple of inches deep for drinking and preening.
  2. Organic PracticesWhen creating your bird habitat, only use organic fertilizers and skip herbicides and pesticides. This is essential for providing safe foods for birds. Instead of trying to prevent bugs in your garden, welcome them as delicious food for your winged friends.
  3. Habitat & ShelterPlant ornamental grasses, shrubs, and small trees to provide shelter for birds. These perennials also provide habitat for insects, which offer another food source for birds -- especially when raising their young. Providing hiding and nesting places for birds protects them, and makes your garden very attractive to visiting wildlife.
  4. Bird Houses & Bird FeedersBird houses are a wonderful way of attracting a nesting pair of birds. Make sure to match the house style and entry hole to the type of bird you wish to attract. Be sure to prevent predators and pests from taking over, for example, by including a baffle on the pole to keep critters out of your birdhouse.
  5. Nesting MaterialLeave plant standing through the fall and winter, or if you cut them down, leave the plant material in place. Seeds provide a food source for birds, and stems provide nesting materials. Plant material also makes good insect habitat, another important food source for birds.
  6. BinocularsSome of the best bird-watching can happen right from the comfort of your window. Enjoy watching and listening to your garden visitors!

Planting Wildflowers For Birds

Wildflowers will provide both nourishment and shelter for birds, as well as provide a gorgeous show for you, both with their beautiful blooms and having the delight of watching the birds outside your window.

  • When planting wildflowers that will attract and feed birds, look for flowers that form large seedheads, such as Sunflowers, Echinacea, and Black Eyed Susan. This enables birds to easily snack on seeds when they ripen without struggling to break seed pods open.
  • Once flowers have finished blooming for the season, you can leave plants standing, or cut everything down and leave the debris on the ground. Leaving plant material over the winter will offer pollinator habitat, and provide material for birds to use in building shelter and nests.
Goldfinch and ZinniaGoldfinch and Zinnia
Zinnias attract birds and a wide range of pollinators to the garden.

Planting Perennials For Birds

You can indulge in a beautiful garden filled with bird-friendly plants! Hardy perennials, including ornamental grasses, shrubs, and flowering plants, all play important roles in creating a bird friendly garden. 

We recommend native plants to provide nectar, nourishing seeds, and delectable fruits for feathered friends. Native plants have evolved in partnership with the wildlife around them over centuries, building relationships that sustain each other in a resilient ecosystem. Native plants will help attract beneficial insects and pollinators, which keep your garden healthy while providing essential protein-rich food sources for birds!

  • A good strategy for planting bird habitat is to create a layered garden.
  • Mix larger, denser plants and trees with smaller varieties to provide birds with shelter and safety. Planting perennials with different heights, densities, and foliage will help to not only provide birds with shelter and nourishment, but will attract a wider range of bird types.
  • Try planting shrubs such as Butterfly Bushes, Hydrangea, and Hibiscus with ornamental grasses such as Fountain Grass, Maiden Grass, or Pampas Grass.
  • Layer in flowers such as Aster, Bee Balm, Gaillardia, Sedum, and Yarrow. 
Coreopsis Seedheads with BirdCoreopsis Seedheads with Bird
Perennials, such as Coreopisis, provide shelter for birds during the cold season. Can you spot the goldfinch?

How To Find The Right Plants For Your Bird Garden

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Pre-Planned Gardens & Collections Designed For Birds

New To Gardening? Our Pre-Planned Gardens and Collections are the perfect way to bring professional garden design to your home. Plant once, and enjoy watching your garden bloom with visits from your feathered neighbors.


  1. Curb Appeal Ornamental Grass Collection

    Our Curb Appeal Ornamental Grass Collection is an easy way to refresh the appearance of your home or garden. Low-maintenance grasses provide year-round visual interest and dynamic te...

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    Curb Appeal Ornamental Grass Collection Curb Appeal Ornamental Grass Collection
    $169.98 Sale $84.99
    Per Collection of 9
    Our Curb Appeal Ornamental Grass Collection is an easy way to refresh the appearance of your home or garden. Low-maintenance grasses provide year-round visual interest and dynamic texture suitable for any home style, from modern to traditional. This grass collection looks polished and sophisticated on its own or when planted to complement and fill in flower gardens. Collection of 9 plants.
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seeds for attracting birds photoseeds for attracting birds photo

Wildflowers For Supporting Local Pollinators

If you'd like your garden to buzz and hum with birds and pollinators, grow the plants that they're naturally drawn to. Birds eat fruit, nectar, seeds, and insects such as moths and caterpillars. Our Regional Pollinator Wildflower Mixes feature flowers that are known to attract birds and beneficial insects in your area.


  1. Northeast Pollinator Wildflower Seed Mix

    Plant your support for the disappearing pollinator population in your own backyard with our Northeast Pollinator Mix. This easy-to-grow blend is designed to provide food and habitat ...

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    Northeast Pollinator Wildflower Seed Mix Northeast Pollinator Wildflower Seed Mix
    As low as $14.95
    Per 1/4 Pound
    Plant your support for the disappearing pollinator population in your own backyard with our Northeast Pollinator Mix. This easy-to-grow blend is designed to provide food and habitat to northeastern pollinators throughout the length of the growing season. Annual and perennial wildflowers like New England Aster, Black Eyed Susan, Milkweed, Coreopsis and Cosmos provide pollen, nectar and shelter for hundreds of important species, including Monarch butterflies and native bees. Contains only 100% pure, non-GMO and neonicotinoid-free seeds, best for planting in CT, DE, ME, MD, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT, WV, QC and the Eastern Townships. Guaranteed to grow.
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  2. Southeast Pollinator Wildflower Seed Mix - Echinacea & Milkweed

    Attract and support pollinators found in the southeast all season long with the Southeast Pollinator Wildflower Seed Mix. Colorful favorites like Clasping Coneflower, Sulphur Cosmos,...

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    Southeast Pollinator Wildflower Seed Mix Southeast Pollinator Wildflower Seed Mix
    As low as $14.95
    Per 1/4 Pound
    Attract and support pollinators found in the southeast all season long with the Southeast Pollinator Wildflower Seed Mix. Colorful favorites like Clasping Coneflower, Sulphur Cosmos, Butterfly Weed, and Red Poppy are easy to grow and provide habitat and breeding grounds for a variety of pollinators. This mix contains 100% pure, non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free seeds for planting in: AL, AR, DC, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, Eastern TX and VA.
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  3. Midwest Pollinator Wildflower Seed Mix, Black Eyed Sysans with Cosmos and other meadow wildflowers

    Our Midwest Pollinator Mix contains a blend of 20 wildflowers that provide crucial habitat and food for pollinators found in the midwest. Providing colorful season-long blooms in the...

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    Midwest Pollinator Wildflower Seed Mix Midwest Pollinator Wildflower Seed Mix
    As low as $14.95
    Per 1/4 Pound
    Our Midwest Pollinator Mix contains a blend of 20 wildflowers that provide crucial habitat and food for pollinators found in the midwest. Providing colorful season-long blooms in the first year and for years to come, this mix contains prairie perennials like Purple Coneflower, Butterfly Weed and Black-Eyed Susan, along with nectar-rich annuals like Red Poppy and Lemon Mint. Best for planting in: IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, MI, MN, MO, NE, OH, WI and Ontario. We’re proud to only sell 100% pure, non-GMO and neonicotinoid-free seeds, all guaranteed to grow.
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  4. Western Pollinator Wildflower Seed Mix

    Plant low-maintenance wildflowers in your garden or meadow to help our disappearing pollinator population. Our Western Pollinator Mix is made up of 16 easy-to-grow wildflowers that p...

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    Western Pollinator Wildflower Seed Mix Western Pollinator Wildflower Seed Mix
    As low as $14.95
    Per 1/4 Pound
    Plant low-maintenance wildflowers in your garden or meadow to help our disappearing pollinator population. Our Western Pollinator Mix is made up of 16 easy-to-grow wildflowers that provide show-stopping color in the first season and for years to come, helping to attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Perfect for the expert or novice garden alike, this colorful mixture includes favorites such as Cosmos, California Poppy and Red Poppy. All of the seed we handle at American Meadows is non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free and guaranteed to grow.
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  1. Pink Echinacea Magnus, Echinacea purpurea, Coneflower

    'Magnus' Coneflower has vibrant pink, ray-like flowers that surround deep-orange center cones, attracting plentiful pollinators to the garden throughout the summer. Leaving the spent...

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    Magnus Echinacea Purple Coneflower Magnus Echinacea purpurea Magnus
    As low as $9.98 Sale $4.99
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    'Magnus' Coneflower has vibrant pink, ray-like flowers that surround deep-orange center cones, attracting plentiful pollinators to the garden throughout the summer. Leaving the spent stems and flowerheads in place to overwinter will also attract birds. Coneflowers are notably tough native plants and 'Magnus' is no exception, withstanding drought, clay, humidity and harsh winter conditions without complaint. Easy to grow, this plant is a great choice for beginner and experienced gardeners alike. (Echinacea purpurea)
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  2. Prairie Blues Little Bluestem Grass, Schizachyrium scoparium

    'Prairie Blues' is an exceptional variety of native Little Bluestem Grass, selected for its vibrant color and compact growth. Fine leaf blades shine with a more intense blue color th...

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    Prairie Blues Little Bluestem Grass Prairie Blues Little Bluestem Grass Schizachyrium scoparium Prairie Blues
    As low as $19.98 Sale $9.99
    Per Plant - 3.5" Pot
    'Prairie Blues' is an exceptional variety of native Little Bluestem Grass, selected for its vibrant color and compact growth. Fine leaf blades shine with a more intense blue color than most of the species, and late summer brings slender deep-purple plumes atop the foliage for an added layer of color. In autumn, small, airy, silver-white seed heads glisten in the autumn sun, against foliage that shifts to a warm bronze-orange color. Leave standing over winter to enjoy the colors and textures. An outstanding choice for both formal structured mass plantings and natural-looking landscapes. An exceptionally cold-hardy grass. (Schizachyrium scoparium)
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  3. Black Eyed Susan Goldsturm, Rudbeckia in bloom in perennial garden

    'Goldsturm' Black Eyed Susan brings a burst of showy color to the full-sun garden. Golden yellow, daisy-like petals surround nectar-rich, brown center 'buttons' set atop deep green f...

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    Goldsturm Black Eyed Susan Black Eyed Susan Goldsturm Rudbeckia fulgida Goldsturm
    As low as $9.98 Sale $4.99
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    'Goldsturm' Black Eyed Susan brings a burst of showy color to the full-sun garden. Golden yellow, daisy-like petals surround nectar-rich, brown center 'buttons' set atop deep green foliage. Unbothered by most pests, poor soils, drought and humidity, 'Goldsturm' is easygoing and the perfect addition to flower arrangements and pollinator gardens. Deer resistant and long-lasting. (Rudbeckia fulgida)
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  4. Support Your Pollinators Pre-Planned Garden

    The Support Your Pollinators Garden pairs the ease of helping bees and butterflies flourish with a colorful, well-designed look that will make any gardener proud. Supplying nectar-ri...

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    Support Your Pollinators Pre-Planned Garden Support Your Pollinators Pre-Planned Garden
    $281.98 Sale $140.99
    Per Garden of 47 Plants
    The Support Your Pollinators Garden pairs the ease of helping bees and butterflies flourish with a colorful, well-designed look that will make any gardener proud. Supplying nectar-rich blooms for pollinators to feast on throughout the entire season, this garden includes the right colors and bloom shapes to supply food and habitat to a variety of species.
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  5. Orange Butterfly Weed With Monarch Butterfly, Asclepias tuberosa

    Butterfly Weed is the iconic, bright orange beauty that's a staple in every butterfly garden. This showy native wildflower is easy to grow, cold hardy, and does well in poor, dry soi...

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    Butterfly Weed Butterfly Weed Asclepias tuberosa
    As low as $14.98 Sale $7.49
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    Butterfly Weed is the iconic, bright orange beauty that's a staple in every butterfly garden. This showy native wildflower is easy to grow, cold hardy, and does well in poor, dry soils. Long-lasting clusters of small, flat-topped flowers are crowned with a yellow, sun-kissed "corona" and bloom from June through August. Butterfly Weed is an important nectar source for Monarch butterflies and its leaves provide essential food for developing Monarch caterpillars - but expect to see a variety of pollinators making use of this plant. Please note the Bag of 3 are bareroots. (Asclepias tuberosa)
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  6. Bailey's Red Twig Dogwood, Cornus stolonifera Baileyi, close up of white flowers

    One of the best native shrubs for four-season visual interest, Bailey's Red Twig Dogwood is impressive and hardy, tolerating unpredictable spring weather and wet soil. Deep green lea...

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    Bailey's Red Twig Dogwood Bailey's Red Twig Dogwood Cornus stolonifera Baileyi
    As low as $27.98 Sale $13.99
    Per Plant - 4" Pot
    One of the best native shrubs for four-season visual interest, Bailey's Red Twig Dogwood is impressive and hardy, tolerating unpredictable spring weather and wet soil. Deep green leaves with red stems add attractive contrast to the spring and summer garden, with white flower clusters and pale-blue-green-to-white berries. Autumn brings golden foliage, which falls to reveal bold red stems for its signature winter color.(Cornus)
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  7. muhlenbergia capillaris, pink cloud muhly grass in the garden

    'Pink Cloud' Muhly Grass sends billows of airy pink flower panicles dancing in the wind for a stunning autumn display. The graceful, arching foliage is equally magnificent, providing...

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    Pink Cloud Muhly Grass Pink Cloud Muhly Grass Muhlenbergia capillaris
    As low as $21.98 Sale $10.99
    Per Plant - 3.5" Pot
    'Pink Cloud' Muhly Grass sends billows of airy pink flower panicles dancing in the wind for a stunning autumn display. The graceful, arching foliage is equally magnificent, providing movement and structure to mixed borders. This native plant is not just beautiful its easy to grow, drought resistant, and deer resistant, too. Tuck cuttings of 'Pink Cloud' Muhly Grass into flower arrangements for lavish texture. Simply breathtaking when planted in flowing drifts and sparkling in the afternoon sun. (Muhlenbergia capillaris)
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  8. Mini Pollinator Pit Stop Plant Collection

    Give bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds what they need with our Mini Pollinator Pit Stop Plant Collection. Compact varieties of Butterfly Weed, Bee Balm, and Salvia are ideal for...

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    Mini Pollinator Pit Stop Plant Collection Mini Pollinator Pit Stop Plant Collection
    $39.98 Sale $19.99
    Per Collection of 3
    Give bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds what they need with our Mini Pollinator Pit Stop Plant Collection. Compact varieties of Butterfly Weed, Bee Balm, and Salvia are ideal for small-space gardens and patio planters, supplying a consistent supply of nectar. A mix of popular, easy-to-grow perennials, these showy pollinator plants will delight with bright colors for years to come. Collection of 3 plants.
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