But birds are more than decorative; they are useful neighbors. Swallows and purple martins have insectivorus habits. The insects they most commonly eat - beetles, winged ants, wasps, bees, flies, and moths - are found in your backyard. Purple martins prefer nesting boxes which are subdivided into apartments, from several room varieties on up to 200-room styles. A colony such as this will, through natural means, keep your lawn and garden fairly well cleared of insects.
With careful planning and planting, it is possible to convert any surburban backyard into a garden which is alive with birds all year long and which is acceptable in even the most manicured of neighborhoods. Shrubs, trees, vines, and other plants that serve the various needs of birds can also be pleasing to the human eye and bring beauty to the property. While you are providing places where birds can feed, sing, court, and nest, you are also landscaping your lawn and garden.
Special thanks to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Bureau of Information and Education, for giving me permission to use their information on Bird Essentials.