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Synopsis

The best ways to attract melodic birds, with insight into their rapidly changing habits.

The American robin and northern cardinal are two of the best-loved songbirds, but newer backyard arrivals, like rose-breasted grosbeaks and scarlet tanagers, quickly captivate with their vivid colors and unique songs. Bird lovers will learn to attract new visitors by offering treats that songbirds like best, such as soft, easy-to-peck foods that closely mimic caterpillars, their top food preference. And planting just a few carefree perennials and shrubs can provide opportunities for cover and nesting.

Sally Roth's Attracting Songbirds to Your Backyard draws on the latest science and 50 years of observation to reveal these fascinating details:

  • In the wee hours, it's the robins that sing first, followed by the babble of house wrens and the whistle of cardinals
  • Some birds learn birdsongs throughout their lives, while others stop learning once they can mimic their parents' song
  • It's Dad, not Mom, who teaches the young birds to sing

Simple tips, ideas, and recipes, as well as an understanding of why songbirds are coming from the treetops into the backyard, will help any bird enthusiast create a songbird sanctuary.

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