Landscaping Colors That Attract Birds to Your Yard

Welcome the beautiful birds to your yard by landscaping with colors that appeal to our feathered friends. Birds have color vision and color preferences just like humans do. By choosing plants and garden decor in hues that birds naturally gravitate toward, you can transform your yard into an avian paradise.

Colors That Attract Birds


Red is an eye-catching color to most birds. Hummingbirds are especially drawn to the color red, as they love the nectar found in red flowers. Planting flowers in red hues such as cardinal flower, bee balm, and red columbine will help lure hummingbirds to your garden. Adding a red bird feeder or other red garden decor will also get the attention of these tiny birds.

Cardinals and finches are also attracted to the color red, so having red elements in your landscape may draw more of these birds to your yard. Some red berries that attract birds include holly, crabapples, chokeberries, and sumac. Consider planting a red branched shrub like red twig dogwood which will stand out in your landscape through the winter.


The bright color orange also grabs the attention of many feathered friends. Orange flowers that entice birds include varieties of lilies, trumpet vine, butterfly weed, and firecracker plant. Oranges, including kumquats and calamondins, provide birds with tasty fruit.

Many orioles and tanagers favor orange. Baltimore orioles get their name from their brilliant orange plumage. You can offer jelly and nectar in orange feeders specifically made to attract orioles. Orange is also the signature color of many tanagers, including the summer tanager and scarlet tanager.


Birds naturally flock to the warm, sunny hue of yellow. Native wildflowers like black-eyed Susans and goldenrod look gorgeous planted en masse, and provide nectar and seeds to birds. Sunflowers are a quintessential bird-attracting plant, providing food, shelter, and nesting material. Goldfinches are especially drawn to yellow and specifically seek out sunflowers.

Other great yellow flowers that bring in the birds include lantana, coreopsis, and trumpet vine. Yellow fruits like apricots, peaches, plums, passionfruit, and bananas can provide food for feasting birds. Add a bright splash of yellow with a bird bath or feeder.


While not the most commonly seen color in backyards, the striking shade of blue is favored by jays, buntings, and Eastern bluebirds. For a pop of blue color, grow borage, grapevine, and morning glory. Blue hosta and Russian sage also add nice blue tones.

Fruits like blueberries, currants, and juniper berries quench birds’ thirst. Providing blue birdhouses and feeders may just attract the rare, beautiful bluebirds to your yard.


Gorgeous purple hues like lavender, lilac, and violet also attract their fair share of birds. Purple coneflower, crocus, clematis, and liatris give height and beauty while also inviting birds. Trees like Jacaranda, redbud, and magnolia have purple blooms that will have your yard twittering.

Purple fruits including plums, figs, elderberries, and even purple carrots specifically attract bluebirds, tanagers, buntings, and finches. Break up all the green by planting gorgeous flowers in various purple shades.


Don’t overlook white blooms, as many birds flock to the bright, neutral color as well. Snowy white flowers like moonflower, yarrow, and white clover bring a crisp, clean look that birds find inviting. Trees like the Bradford pear and silver maple have lovely white blooms or foliage.

Fruits like pears, apples, and sapodilla provide food in crisp white packaging. White grapevines and passion fruit vines also offer white fruits to snack on. Add white accents with a birdbath, feeders, or houses to complete the look.


Pretty pink blossoms attract hummingbirds, orioles, finches, and more. Popular pink flowers include bee balm, cosmos, petunias, azaleas and more. Crabapples, cherries, and pomegranates bear pink fruits.

Special oriole feeders supply these beauties with pink grape jelly, their favorite treat. The bright pink blooms and fruits against the green backdrop of your yard create a warm, welcoming space for winged visitors.

Plants That Attract Birds

Beyond choosing plants with colored blooms and fruits that appeal to birds, consider adding these specific varieties known for attracting birds:

  • Sunflowers
  • Coreopsis
  • Cardinal Flower
  • Black-eyed Susans
  • Butterfly Bush
  • Milkweed
  • Bee Balm
  • Trumpet Vine
  • Columbine
  • Coneflower
  • Salvia
  • Wild Berries – cherry, strawberry, blackberry, elderberry, etc.
  • Native Grasses and Wildflowers
  • Fruit Trees – crabapple, pear, plum, peach, etc.
  • Berry Bushes – blueberry, raspberry, etc.

Planting a variety of heights, colors, and species will create an enticing habitat. Birds need shelter, food, water, and places to raise their young, so plant accordingly. Aim for layers including:

  • Groundcovers – creeping phlox, violets
  • Low Shrubs – hydrangea, lavender, boxwood
  • Medium Shrubs – lilac, forsythia, sumac
  • Tall Shrubs/Trees – redbud, dogwood, magnolia, oak
  • Vining Plants – clematis, honeysuckle, grapes

Mix heights, shapes, and types of plants to make your landscape irresistible to a diversity of birds. Dense shrubs and evergreen trees also allow birds spots to nest and escape predators. Avoid pesticides and choose native plants when possible.

Landscaping Tips to Attract Birds

Beyond choosing colors and plants that appeal to birds, incorporate these landscaping strategies to make your yard even more bird-friendly:

Provide Water

Install a birdbath or small backyard pond with a trickle fountain. Moving water attracts birds, as does water at various depths. Place water sources near sheltering trees and keep the water fresh. Providing a reliable water source will keep thirsty birds flocking to your yard.

Offer Bird Feeders

Supplement natural food sources with specific bird feeders. Select feeders tailored to different species like hummingbirds, orioles, woodpeckers, finches, and sparrows. Place feeders a safe distance from bushes where cats may lurk. Use seed blends and nectar the birds favor, and clean feeders regularly.

Add Nesting Boxes

Put up nesting boxes and birdhouses designed for the specific birds you hope to attract. Customize nests to preferred dimensions and add appropriate lining. Install away from prevailing winds and rain with the entrance hole facing the right direction. Regularly clean out old nests after baby birds have fledged.

Provide Shelter

Use trees, shrubs, brush piles, nesting boxes, and climbing vines to give birds ample spots to shelter from weather and hide from predators. Birds will spend more time in your yard if they have refuge. Evergreen trees and dense shrubs make great shelter year-round.

Limit Use of Pesticides

Avoid using insecticides and herbicides which also kill off birds’ food sources and can poison birds. Practice organic gardening and natural pest control. Remove standing water to limit mosquitoes without pesticides. Support the insects birds rely on by avoiding chemicals.

Offer Winter Food

As seasons change, keep offering foods birds crave. Winter fruit trees, seed-rich flowering plants, suet feeders, berry bushes, and nectar appeal to non-migrating birds toughing out the cold months. Providing winter food and roosts encourages year-round bird residency.

Add Diversity

The more diverse your plant and tree selection, the more species you’ll attract. Each bird has unique needs, so variety ensures all sorts find foods and shelter they require. Evergreen, deciduous, vines, shrubs, trees, and flowers of all colors and heights create ecosystem diversity. Native plants also boost diversity and provide what local birds need to thrive.

Limit Disturbance

Situate birdhouses and feeders away from high traffic areas. Use plant buffers to create secluded spaces where birds can safely nest, feed, preen, and play. Limit noise, light, and obstruction near critical roosting and nesting spots.

Specific Bird Species to Attract

Here are some common backyard birds and tips to attract each one:


Hummingbirds are tiny treasures that buzz around feasting on nectar. To attract them:

  • Plant red and orange nectar-producing flowers
  • Offer specialized hummingbird feeders with sugar water
  • Use red or yellow feeders to stand out
  • Include perches for resting

Popular flowers include bee balm, cardinal flower, trumpet vine, and lantana. Change nectar every 2-3 days to avoid spoilage.


Woodpeckers drill holes while searching for insects in trees. Entice them by:

  • Leaving dead trees and logs which attract insects
  • Offering suet feeders for nourishment
  • Installing nesting boxes suitable for woodpeckers
  • Planting native oak trees and pines

Favorites like the downy, hairy, red-bellied, and Northern flicker will chisel away on your trees. Just be sure they have enough snags and insects available so they don’t damage your home.


These small brown birds are common visitors fond of seeds and insects. Attract house sparrows, chipping sparrows, and more with:

  • Low hedges and ground cover they can duck under
  • Feeders stocked with millet, cracked corn, and sunflower seeds
  • Scattered grass seed and oats around the yard
  • Nesting boxes with small openings

Provide cover and plentiful food sources to keep these tiny backyard birds around all season. Avoid non-native invasive house sparrows taking over though.


Goldfinches, purple finches, and house finches add gorgeous colors. Invite them by:

  • Planting thistle, sunflowers, and cosmos for seeds
  • Offering nyjer thistle and sunflower feeders
  • Providing nesting material like pet fur or yarn
  • Installing small nesting boxes

Finches specifically seek out tube-shaped feeders. Watch them snacking upside down while their bright feathers put on a show.


These beautiful thrushes migrate and settle where their name reflects their plumage. Bluebirds love:

  • Open fields and scattered trees, like orchards or parks
  • Berries and fruits including dogwood, juniper, holly, elderberry
  • Nesting boxes customized to their size
  • Perches for scanning for insects to eat

See if you can attract the elusive yet stunning Eastern Bluebird to your neighborhood.


These flycatchers snatch insects while dramatically flying out from branches. Invite them by:

  • Tolerating bugs like beetles, flies, wasps, and bees
  • Offering nests under overhangs on sheds, decks, or bridges
  • Providing mud for nest building
  • Planting insects attracting flowers like daisies and asters

Phoebes uniquely make nests piled with moss and lined with mud and grass. Give them the building supplies they need.


Robins hopping along gardens are a welcome sign of spring. Entice them by:

  • Planting crabapples, strawberries, cherries, and grapes
  • Keeping moist soil with worms for prey
  • Offering flat, open spaces for hunting
  • Putting up shelves or ledges for nests
  • Providing nesting materials like dry grass

These reddish-breasted birds will reward you with cheerful songs and vigorous bug control.


The bright orange and black Baltimore oriole and orchard oriole add tropical flair. Lure them with:

  • Orange and yellow nectar feeders and jelly
  • Orange lilies, orchids, trumpet vine, butterflies weed and oriole bush
  • Firmly woven sock-like nests hung from branches
  • Sugar water and cut up fresh fruits

The glow of male orioles darting around your yard is a sight to behold. Customize your yard perfectly to meet their needs.


From stellar jays to blue jays, these colorful social birds represent almost a quarter of all bird species. Jays love:

  • Nuts and acorns, so plant oak and nut trees
  • Suet, peanuts, and sunflower seeds
  • Berries including dogwood, juniper, and winterberry
  • Platform feeders for fancy seeds and suet cakes

Jays act as forest alarms with their loud warning calls. Keep them comfortable by providing safe places to perch and plenty of food.


These tiny energetic birds sing loudly and consume gallons of insects. Entice wrens with:

  • Dense shrubs and brush piles offering protection
  • Small box nests or openings in outbuildings
  • Suet for nutritional snacks
  • Birdbaths with sloped sides for drinking and bathing

The Carolina and house wren’s voices belie their petite frames. Make your yard cozy and cater to their preferences.


Transforming your yard into a birdwatcher’s paradise takes knowledge of bird preferences, smart plant choices, and thoughtful landscaping strategies. By picking plants bearing flowers, fruits, and seeds in colors that appeal to birds, while also offering water, shelter, and nesting spots, you can easily convert your yard into a frequent fly zone. Listening to beautiful birdsong and watching plumes dart around your lovely landscape as you relax outside will provide countless hours of pleasure. Let your creativity take flight to design a gorgeous, bird-friendly yard.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions and answers about landscaping colors that attract birds:

What is the best color to attract birds?

Red, orange, yellow, white, and purple flowers and fruits tend to attract the largest range of bird species. Different birds have different color preferences, so provide a variety to appeal to many.

What plants attract the most birds?

Sunflowers, berry bushes, fruit trees, native wildflowers and grasses, trumpet vines, milkweed, and other plants providing plentiful nectar, seeds, nuts, and fruits will invite in the most birds.

What colors and plants attract hummingbirds?

Hummingbirds adore the colors red, orange, and yellow. Plant flowers like cardinal flowers, bee balm, and trumpet vines which provide the nectar they feed on.

What plants attract orioles?

Orioles seek out oranges, yellows, and purples. Flowers that entice them include lilies, irises, butterfly weed, fuchsia, and nectar-laden blossoms. They also love fruiting trees and berry bushes.

How do I choose landscaping plants for birds?

Opt for plants in colors birds like offering flowers, seeds, nuts, and berries. Include various heights like vines, shrubs, and trees. Choose plants providing year-round food and shelter through seasons.

What garden decor should I add to attract birds?

Birdhouses, feeders, birdbaths, shelves, and perches in colors matching birds’ preferences will invite more in. Moving water elements, nesting materials, wind chimes, and garden art also attract birds.

How can I deter birds from my yard and garden?

Reflective ribbons or objects blowing in wind may deter birds. Use bird netting over plants. Eliminate food sources and micro-habitats they like. Sprinklers, predator decoys, and ultrasonic devices may also discourage unwanted birds.