If you have CC Sunscreens on your Arizona home, you know what it feels like to live in comfort even when summer temperatures turn up the heat. Finding stylish and cooling shade isn’t just a human desire, our desert fauna has adapted itself to find nature’s sunscreens…and you can help.
Planting trees, shrubs, cacti and flowers that wildlife like birds can utilize will bring your garden to life. Encouraging birds in your yard helps reduce insect pests and fills the air with song and activity. From nesting hummingbirds to inquisitive roadrunners, there’s always a nature show to watch in your bird habitat yard.
Put Down Roots
Trees are some of the best plants for encouraging birds. Trees can almost act like a mini neighborhood for birds. Birds can find shelter and nest in the shade and branches of a tree and even raise their family. Fruit, seeds and insects on the tree provide nearby plentiful food. If you plant trees in your yard, birds won’t take long to find them. Better still, planting native trees provides protection from the low desert sun for other useful plants which can thrive in the shadow of the tree and provide additional food, water and other resources.
Trees in the desert often don’t look like trees anywhere else. Thin leaves, drought tolerance, pale colors to reflect light and a number of other survival skills have made our native trees beautiful and unique. Birds especially love tree varieties that produce fruit or seed pods. To start your desert bird garden, anchor it with a well-adapted desert native tree.
Shady, water-wise honey mesquites provide some of the best desert shade, an ideal nesting and roosting spot for many birds. Insects that are drawn to mesquite trees provide food, as well as the abundant, nutritious seed pods. Ironwood trees provide a very similar bird sanctuary to mesquites. Their branches and shade act as shelter while insects and seeds provide nourishment.
For those with a sense of state pride, the striking blue palo verde tree is a great choice for both garden flair and a wide range of birds. As our official state tree, the palo verde’s unusual green bark performs some photosynthesis activity so the more delicate leaves don’t have to. For birds, it has dappled shade, a wide spread of branches and plentiful seeds.
Get to the Point
Just as they have adapted to the heat, many desert birds have ways to enjoy even their most prickly neighbor – the native Sonoran cacti. Small birds can use the dense thorny growth of a cactus as protection from predators. Species like the cactus wren even nest in native cholla cacti! Cholla and prickly pears are also a reliable source of fruit, the bird’s gift of flight giving them a leg up on getting to the juiciest, sun-ripened prickly pear fruit. Cactus flowers, while often short-lived, provide nourishing nectar to small species like hummingbirds.
Save Room to Bloom
Cacti aren’t the only desert flowers that help birds. Planting native desert blooms is beneficial for many different bird species and can certainly attract jewel-toned hummingbird visitors to your land. Shrubs like chuparosa and fairy duster give your garden a dramatic “pop” of color and are also rich in nectar for hummingbird feeding.
There is a debate among bird afficionados about the value of setting out bird seed to draw in your winged friends. Bird seed feeding may make species dependent on an unreliable resource. Planting shrubs and flowers that bloom and fruit, however, is like growing your own magically refilling bird seed. Fresh berries, flower nectar and seeds are all important food sources for birds that you don’t have to continually buy or replenish. Try planting fruiting shrubs like the desert hackberry or heavily- seeded flowers like sunflowers.
Once you are done creating comfortable shady habitats for your local birds, don’t forget to do the same for yourself! Unfortunately, you can’t live in the crook of a mesquite tree, but lucky for you CC Sunscreens has an even better solution: beautiful, durable sunscreens to protect your home and keep it comfortable year-round. CC Sunscreens are custom made with a selection of long-lasting materials and styles to match any home. If you want to have the best nest on your block this year, give us a call and we’ll show you how high-quality custom sunscreens can improve your lifestyle.