Top 10 Birds that Work for You in the Landscape

Few things are more disheartening than watching a horde of insects devour a landscape or garden you just invested mass resources and brute strength installing. And this is the time of year those pesky predators swarm. Luckily, for many parts of the world, these plant-eating predators have their own higher-up-on-the-food-chain predators to keep them in check. What are they? Birds.

Your ticket to reducing damage to your favorite landscape is to bring in the birds that feed on the insect pests. But, how? By providing a welcoming environment with food and appropriate cover for the species you wish to attract. We call that “creating habitat.”

Is it enough to put up a birdhouse? Nope. Birds will only nest where they find suitable habitat for keeping themselves and their babies fed. So plant native species of plants, provide a water source, and provide several nesting options like a nest box, brush pile, shrubs and trees - even dead ones. “A dead tree?!” you ask. Dead trees provide great nesting locations and food sources for insectivores; just make sure the dead trunks and limbs don’t pose a safety hazard for people and property.

What kinds of birds should you attract? That varies on your location and the species of birds that naturally range there. In the U.S., great, insect-devouring friends exist in the following top ten bird families:

  1. swallow,
  2. vireo (naturally our favorite),
  3. sparrow,
  4. woodpecker,
  5. warbler,
  6. bluebird,
  7. nightjar,
  8. phoebe,
  9. oriole, and
  10. wren

Find out which ones are near you and what you can do to attract them in this original article on