Feeding and observing birds have become favorite pastimes in the United States. Attracting birds can offer benefits to both the birds and the observers. Your success in attracting birds depends on how well you can fulfill their basic needs. Every bird needs three fundamental things: food, shelter, and water. Providing these basics help increase the bird’s chance of survival and encourages them to make more visits. There are many ways in which you can introduce these basics into your yard. Bird feeders and nesting boxes are good ways of attracting birds. There are many types of feeders to choose from such as tray, platform, window, tube and house feeders. Make sure the feeder is strong enough to handle inclement weather and squirrels. Placing a birdhouse or nesting box in your yard is a great way to provide shelter and attract birds that normally nest in woodpecker holes or other tree cavities. A nesting box should be at least 6 feet above the ground, and preferably placed in a sheltered area that protects it from the rain and sun. A supply of water in a birdbath or pond is another incentive for birds to visit your yard throughout the year. Providing fresh clean water, choosing good feeders and putting up bird houses will ensure a variety of birds are attracted to your yard. For many backyard birders, the best benefit of attracting birds is simply being able to enjoy them. Attracting them with proper landscaping and attentive care can lead to a range of other benefits that make enjoying the birds even more exciting and productive. Not only will you receive enjoyment watching the birds, but your yard will benefit from these visitors as well. Birds will eat up those pesky insects and consume weed seeds helping to control the spread of unwanted plants. Watching birds, interacting with them, listening to their songs and taking the time to work outdoors improving their habitat can help relieve stress and promote over all well-being.