In my personal garden, I have set aside a small area for our feathered friends. These friends, especially the migrating ones from way up north, need a sanctuary. Here are the steps I took to make my bird sanctuary.

First, I started by adding a feeder and bird bath. I use the common feed, consisting of milo, cracked corn and sunflower seed. Additionally, I planted plant material that will add shelter, perching and other herbaceous food supply.

For perching, I planted an American wild plum. The plum will also have delicious fruit for them. I also added a white birch tree. This tree is perfect for perching at different elevations; it also has catkins, which the birds can feed on during winter.

Lastly, I planted plants that provide shelter in a thicket form and with fruit: California wild rose, common blackberries, ‘Roger’s Red’ California wild grape, Rhus trilobata or skunk bush Japanese red leaf barberry and Vanhoutte spiraea (white bridal breath).

Mark Koehler

Mark Koehler of Los Banos is an arborist and master gardener, who has degrees in Landscape Architecture and Landscape Horticulture from UC Berkeley and Northeastern University.