Bird-Friendly Gardening: Guidance and Projects for Supporting Birds in Your Landscape (Paperback)

Bird-Friendly Gardening: Guidance and Projects for Supporting Birds in Your Landscape By Jen McGuinness Cover Image
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Bird-Friendly Gardening is the definitive guide to planting a wildlife-welcoming home landscape filled with a diversity of native plants that feed, shelter, and support birds.

With hundreds of North American bird species facing population decline or at risk of extinction, right now is the perfect time to create a home-based habitat garden that offers birds the resources they need to safely feed, migrate, breed, and thrive.

Thankfully, making your outdoor space a secure and comfortable haven for many different bird species isn’t a Herculean task. It’s a matter of understanding the needs of our avian friends and how native plants, combined with purposeful garden design, can help meet those needs. And that’s exactly the know-how you’ll find here, outlined in a simple-to-follow, actionable format by author Jennifer McGuinness. 

Step beyond the seed-filled bird feeder and suet block, and learn how to further provide for birds. Some of the topics covered in the book include:
  • How to design a bird-centered habitat garden in spaces large and small 
  • Advice on providing fresh water year-round
  • Understanding the connection between native plants and insects and the birds that rely on them
  • How to design and plant a fruit garden, a bird seed garden, a runoff-absorbing rain garden, or even a container garden that nurtures birds
  • Meet dozens of trees, shrubs, and other plants that support the insects almost all adult birds need to feed their young
  • 18 step-by-step garden design projects and plant lists for creating a diversity of bird-friendly spaces
  • Tips for preventing window strikes and cat kills
  • Best practices for including bird feeders, nest boxes, and bird baths in your landscape

Whether your “spark bird” was a lightning-fast Ruby-throated Hummingbird, a brilliant Indigo Bunting, or a petite Hammond’s Flycatcher, it’s time to put out the welcome mat for birds in your home garden. YOU can make a significant impact on the lives of thousands of birds, whether they’re just passing through during migration or making a feather-lined summertime home for raising the next generation.

It’s time for gardeners from coast to coast to heed the call and welcome their flighty friends home with Bird-Friendly Gardening

About the Author

Jen McGuinness is a writer, editor, and photographer who began regularly writing as Frau Zinnie in 2011 on The website features Jen’s writing, photography, and personal gardening experiences in her Connecticut, US, garden, along with interviews with garden experts. She is a proponent of organic gardening methods and wildlife-friendly gardens.

Jen has worked in local journalism, nonprofit communications, a small business, and in corporate communications. She explored other interests along the way, earning two master’s degrees. Jen is an award-winning local journalist, earning recognition from the New England Press Association, the Connecticut chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and the Awards for Publication Excellence.

Praise For…

“Bird-Friendly Gardening is a thorough resource for gardeners with yards, small patios, or even balconies. It not only reinforces that I've made some bird-friendly plant choices, I can't wait to study some of the garden plans and plant picks to continue to make my yard a haven—and a buffet!—for birds.” 

Tara Nolan, author of Gardening Your Front Yard

“What a welcome and timely guide for those of us shifting to ecological gardening! Bird-Friendly Gardening shows how, by supporting wild birds, your garden—no matter the size or location—can become part of the greater ecosystem. Packed with beautiful photos and practical information, by showing us what native birds need, we learn to grow sustainable gardens. I can’t think of anything more important for gardeners today.”

Melissa Will, a.k.a. The Empress of Dirt (

“Jen McGuinness has written an informative resource that will broaden any gardener's awareness about birds, their needs, and habits. It also gives gardeners the tools and knowledge they need to steward local and migrating bird species with manageable projects for every climate. McGuinness’ research serves as a jumping off point for us to improve our gardens and our relationship to wildlife around us."

Christy Wilhelmi of Gardenerd @gardenerd1

“Jennifer’s book is a wonderful resource for those who wish to create a bird-friendly habitat around their home. Birding is rapidly growing in popularity and can begin in your own backyard. With bird populations dwindling, the author shows you how you can make a difference as she guides you in plant selection, maintenance, and design that will attract and sustain birds where you live. Examples of birders and their gardens are sure to inspire you in creating your own bird haven. Whether you have a small or large space, this book is a must-have guide.”

Noelle Johnson, AZ Plant Lady, author of Dry Climate Gardening and The Water-Smart Garden

“Bird-Friendly Gardening is an essential guide to both the responsibility and joys of inviting birds into your garden. These beautiful, quirky songsters are an essential part of a regenerative garden for pest control; seed dispersion; garden clean up; and just plain old entertainment. The chapters are packed with information on how and why to support and welcome birds into your backyard, along with great project plans and helpful North American bird and plant species lists. Fly to your bookstore and get this book!”

Stephanie Rose of Garden Therapy; author of The Regenerative Garden and Garden Alchemy

“Bird-Friendly Gardening is an important read for anyone passionate about coexisting and preserving bird habitats. I commend the book for prioritizing the well-being of birds and their environments to minimize harm. The book also demonstrates a commitment to ethical wildlife interaction.

The emphasis on the significance of snags and dead trees as vital habitats for owls is a message our organization has been shouting from the rooftops for decades! By advocating for the preservation of these natural structures and encouraging the creation of brush piles to attract prey, Bird-Friendly Gardening offers practical solutions to support owl populations.

The section on being a responsible landowner resonates deeply with our organization. Highlighting the dangers of using rodent poison and advocating for humane trapping methods aligns perfectly with our mission to protect owl populations from harm.

In summary, Bird-Friendly Gardening offers invaluable insights and actionable steps to create bird-friendly environments while promoting responsible stewardship of our natural world. This book is an essential resource for bird enthusiasts and conservationists alike."

Jeanna Clifford, Communications Director, The Owl Research Institute
Product Details
ISBN: 9780760382110
ISBN-10: 0760382115
Publisher: Cool Springs Press
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2024
Pages: 192
Language: English