Do you enjoy listening to the many songs of the mockingbird? Maybe you’ve heard stories about their ability to mimic car alarms and creaky gates and you’re curious to find out if the stories are true. Whatever the reason, you’d like to have more mockingbirds in your yard. You’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll talk about how to attract mockingbirds by fulfilling their basic needs in life.
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Best Ways to Attract Mockingbirds to Your Yard
There are a number of ways you can induce mockingbirds to hang around your property. Regardless of the specific things you do, your best bet is to provide their basic needs of food, water, and shelter.
As for the specific steps you can take to meet these needs, consider the following:
Avoid Pesticide Use
The number one food mockingbirds eat is insects. If you’re using products to limit or eliminate the insects in your yard, any mockingbirds that pass through will have little reason to stick around.
What’s more, pesticides meant for use against larger animals may harm mockingbirds. Even those used only against insects may poison mockingbirds by contaminating their other food sources, such as fruit and seeds.
If you want wildlife of any kind in your yard, it’s best to avoid the use of harsh chemicals and allow the environment to do what it does naturally. A mockingbird may thank you by choosing your yard as its new territory.
Provide Fruits, Seeds, Peanuts, and Suet
If you already have a birdfeeder or two, great! If not, you will probably want to install one—mockingbirds prefer hanging or platform-type feeders with at least two or three perches for them to sit on.
You may want to install several of these bird feeding stations around your property. Once they are set up and ready to use, you can start stocking them with the foods mockingbirds like to eat.
Foods such as mealworms and suet will really get their attention because they prefer meat-based meals. But, you can also provide plant-based foods such as peanuts, sunflower seeds, and pieces of fruit.
If you feed them peanuts, use a food processor to chop them up well before scooping them onto your feeder.
If you give them fruit, some of their favorites include berries, mashed up bananas, grated apples, and fig pieces.
You may even be able to hand-feed them, as shown in the following video:
Provide a Water Source
Having a birdbath or clean pond on your property will do a lot to attract both mockingbirds and other kinds of birds.
Mockingbirds, like all animals, need water to survive, and they don’t get enough from the foods they eat; so they have to supplement with water that they drink from streams, ponds, puddles, or birdbaths.
They also enjoy washing themselves in the water.
Make sure you clean the birdbath regularly to avoid attracting mosquitoes or allowing harmful microorganisms to develop.
Plant Shrubs and Trees
One great way to attract mockingbirds is to have fruiting plants readily available for them to forage from.
Not only do these plants provide fruits and seeds that they can eat, but they also provide insects for food, perches for resting, and plenty of branches for shelter and nest-building.
Some of the plants you could cultivate on your property include sunflowers, mulberry bushes, holly, grapes, blueberries, elderberries, and blackberries.
Put Up Nesting Boxes
As an added bonus for the birds, you could provide ready-made spots for them to build their nests. Trees and shrubs growing on your property may attract them for this purpose, but if you don’t have many of these natural habitats, you could install nesting boxes.
The boxes should ideally be placed between 3 and 10 feet off the ground, not too close to the house, and within easy distance of food and water sources.
Once the breeding season has ended and you no longer see birds coming and going from the nesting boxes, remove the old nests and clean out the boxes. That way, they’ll be all ready for a new mockingbird family to move into next spring.
Allow Brush Piles
This may seem like an odd tip, but keeping small brush piles in your yard can provide an ideal habitat for mockingbirds.
The birds enjoy using these brush piles for shelter and to hunt for insects that may be hiding in them. What’s more, they can harvest small twigs, branches, and other plant matter to use in building their nests.
If you occasionally have to trim your trees and shrubs, discard the cuttings in a pile at a reasonable distance from your house. Chances are, you’ll have mockingbirds flocking to your yard in no time.
The best ways to attract mockingbirds involve meeting their basic needs. Providing the foods they like, setting up a clean water source, and allowing ample shelter and nesting opportunities are great ways to attract not just mockingbirds, but many other kinds of birds as well.