How To Attract Birds to Your Garden: Foods They Like, Plants They Love, Shelter They Need

DK. Nov. 2020. 192p. ISBN 9781465499370. $25. GARDENING
Backyard birding has become a popular pandemic pastime, making this a timely offering. Rouse (conservationist, BBC presenter) treats her subject with joyful enthusiasm. That, paired with the typically bold DK visuals—sharp color photographs, and stylized blends of drawings and photos—should inspire novice backyard habitat builders. After surveying avian behavior, Rouse moves on to feeding. She discusses several feeder types, how to choose the best foods, suggests maintenance tips, and works through some nifty DIY projects. Birdhouses are presented similarly. The fourth section concerns planting—topics include gardening techniques (e.g., “layering” for optimal shelter and food provision) and preferred plants. Plant choices only go to genus level and concentrate on herbaceous perennials and shrubs; shade trees are given scant attention, and “planting native” is not emphasized. Backyard water features—birdbaths, small and large ponds—are next and include some step-by-step projects. Then follows a short section on keeping birds safe from predators and disease. The book closes with profiles of 56 common bird species with the focus on northeast and Midwestern species.
VERDICT The bird feeding shelf is crowded, but with public interest so high there’s probably room for this happy introductory guide.
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