“Feathered Favorites: Exploring the Vibrant Color Preferences of Avian Species”

A curious hummingbird checks out pink flowers.

Designing a garden is more than just about your own preferences. Apart from ensuring that your plants get enough nourishment, hydration, and protection, the colors of your blooms also play a vital role in attracting certain bird species. So, if you’re an avid bird watcher, this is your chance to entice more feathered friends to your backyard. Discover which birds are drawn to the color red and find out which plants you should consider planting to invite them over.

A hummingbird sips nectar from a red bee balm bloom.

Humans and birds alike consider red to be a powerful color. Interestingly, birds use their red markings both to protect their nests from predators and to attract potential mates. Hummingbirds are particularly drawn to the color red, which is why many hummingbird feeders feature red bases or ports. While red is a popular choice in hummingbird gardens, it may not be as effective in butterfly gardens, as butterflies do not find the color as visible. If you’re looking to incorporate some red into your garden, consider planting red flowers such as bee balm, columbine, coral bell, hibiscus, lobelia, pentas, petunia, peony, and zinnia. On the other hand, orange is another color that may attract birds to your garden.

A Baltimore Oriole rests on some orange blossoms.

The oriole bird has a particular fondness for eating oranges, hence why bird feeders designed for them are usually colored orange. These vibrant creatures are a delight to observe, and if you wish to attract more of them to your garden, you can plant flowers with orange colors. A bonus is that these blossoms also attract other creatures such as hummingbirds, butterflies, and bumblebees who will appreciate the nectar. Here are some examples of orange flowers that you can grow: Begonia, Bird of paradise, Butterfly weed, Calendula, California poppy, Impatiens, Lantana, Lion’s tail, Mexican sunflower, Nasturtium, Pansy, and Trumpet vine. On the other hand, yellow is another color that birds are attracted to, and it can be useful to add some yellow flowers to your garden if you want to see more finches and other species flying about.

A Lesser Goldfinch takes a rest atop a yellow flower.

Yellow is a popular color among birds such as goldfinches, warblers, cardinals, and hummingbirds. The bright and vibrant color of yellow is said to be a strong attractor for these birds, even in low light conditions. Additionally, yellow flowers are also a favored choice for bee and butterfly gardens due to their ability to attract pollinators. Some examples of yellow flowers include alyssum, buttercup, clematis, cosmos, dahlia, evening primrose, forsythia, goldenrod, marigold, morning glory, and oxeye. On the other hand, pink and purple flowers may also be attractive to certain bird species.

Two chickadees feed on a suet ball with pink blossoms in the background.

Are you a fan of the pink and purple color combination? Well, you’re not alone! These colors are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they also attract various birds and pollinators. If you’re looking to create a hummingbird or butterfly garden, be sure to include pink flowers such as African daisies, freesias, and Mexican sage, as well as purple coneflowers, crape myrtles, and lavender. These plants have been known to draw in chickadees, juncos, and even woodpeckers. Additionally, if you’re interested in attracting a wider variety of birds, consider planting bellflowers, princess flowers, rock roses, verbena, and showy evening primroses. On the other hand, if you’re looking to attract green-feathered birds, try incorporating green plants and foliage into your garden.

A Blue Tit takes refuge in the green foliage of a tree.

The color that easily lures birds into your garden is green. Not only is it effortless to integrate into your garden, but it also attracts various bird species such as blackbirds, doves, and thrushes. Green is considered a “safe” color that offers shelter and protection from predators. Other colors that follow this pattern are silver, gray, and brown. If you want to add green flowers to your garden, consider adding agave, bells of Ireland, cala lily, chrysanthemum, cockscomb, echeveria, gerbera daisy, hydrangea, and zinnia. On the other hand, if you want to attract blue birds, opt for blue flowers.

A pair of bluebirds set up residence in a blue-painted birdhouse.

It’s well-known that bluebirds and blue jays are attracted to the color blue. If you’re hoping to spot more of these gorgeous birds in your backyard, consider planting the following blue blooms and having some bird feeders stocked with mealworms and top-quality seeds ready for them to enjoy.
Some examples of blue flowers that you could plant include bellflower, bluebell, blue blossom, blue-eyed grass, flax flowers, hydrangea, iris, lilac, morning glory, penstemon, sage, and wisteria. However, what about white flowers? While it may not be as potent as blue, white flowers can also be attractive to certain birds.

White cherry blossoms bloom.

Here’s a fun fact – did you know that the color white could actually repel birds? Birds associate it with danger and warning, as they use white markings on their bodies and wings to signal predators and other birds. This means that if you’re looking to attract more birds to your garden, avoid planting an all-white or -cream garden. Although, including some white blooms shouldn’t have much effect. To help bring more feathered friends to your yard, try out these foolproof tips.

A Blue Jay feeding at a tube bird feeder.

Though color can be a factor in luring birds to your yard, there are other foolproof methods that guarantee their return. These include putting up bird feeders, filling them with quality seed or suet, giving access to a clean water source like a fountain or birdbath, and providing natural habitats with native plants, shrubs, and trees for food and shelter.

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