For every backyard birder, it is a natural progression to want to attract butterflies as well.  After all, they both have wings, bring color to our gardens and are part of the natural environment we are attempting to provide.

Bird feeders are perfect educational projects for children of any age.  Give your child the responsibility for locating, filling and cleaning their backyard bird feeders.  Natural curiosity will provide enough of a desire to the young birder to identify any species that arrives.  Children can learn about each bird using guide books or the internet.

For beginners, remember that wild birds can not survive on food alone.  Wild birds have no saliva so water must play an important component in your feeding area.  They not only are functional but can become an attractive focal point in the landscape.

At the National Butterfly Center, they do not provide birdhouses, however the native trees and shrubs obviously allow wild birds access for nesting purposes.   Each backyard has the protential to become a wildlife by planting trees, shrubs  with decorative birdhouses. The wide variety of bird houses are mind boggling.  The best choices will be built to withstand the same elements as your own home, constructed of the same materials and designs.

Be sure to incorporate native plants in the landscape with berries or fruit that birds consider a delicacy. Depending on your planting zone,  favorites may be the steel-blue berries of the wax myrtle, the bright red fruit of the dogwood or one of a dozen hollies. It is the optimum solution have good-looking trees and shrubs that also serve as food and shelter for birds.

Native sumac found in may parts of the country are the prime choice when it comes to feeding birds. The staghorn sumac is one such prize, feeding well over 94 species of birds. 

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