Book Review: Garden Secrets for Attracting Birds: A Bird-by-Bird Guide to Favored Plants by Rachel Lanicci

I almost didn’t get to this book from the large stack of books I checked out of the library, but I’m glad I did.  Garden Secrets for Attracting Birds: A Bird-by-Bird Guide to Favored Plants by Rachael Lanicci is an excellent resource for gardeners wishing to bring birds into their garden.  It is organized, informative, and complete with excellent photos of birds, plants, water features, and feeders.  

After some preliminary information on birds, like their homes and dining habits, she moves on to talk about plants.  There are sections on many common garden plants that are beneficial to birds, from American Holly to Zinnia with many in between.  For each plant Lanicci presents info about the plant, a few examples of birds who benefit from the plant, and pertinent growing information.  

Page of book on American Holly, complete with some birds this plant attracts and a growing guide.
A look at a page of plant information. Every plant is laid out like this with the same pertinent information.

The next section of the book is an equally useful and informative resource.  It lists common North American birds and how to make your garden hospitable to them.  Just a note before moving on about this section, when I say North America, she does cover most of North America, and each bird’s 2 page spread includes a map of where the bird can be found year round, during summer, winter, and during migration.  This spread also includes general info about that particular bird, photos of adults and chicks or male and female, a list of the best companion plants for that bird and why, their favorite foods, and how to attract them to the garden (things such as what kind of feeder, birdhouse, water feature, etc.).  If you have a favorite kind of bird you want to attract to your yard, you will find this section amazingly useful.  

Two pages from book laid out revealing photo of bird, map of bird's range, and plants that attract the bird.
Profile spread of the Barn Swallow. Every bird included contains all of this information. Useful and organized.

After the two informative sections, there is a garden gallery.  The whole book delivers amazing photography, but this gallery makes this quite the coffee table worthy volume.  Lovely photos of gardens from throughout the United States and Canada.  

I am so glad that I didn’t return this book to the library without reading it.  It is an excellent guide for gardening to attract birds to your yard.  I’ve been working at attracting hummingbirds for years, and last summer that finally paid off with multiple visits daily from at least 3 hummingbirds.  If you are interested in making your yard a sanctuary for birds, be your yard big or small, this is the book for you!

Published by scottmeneely

Gardener passionate about organic gardening, fresh food, sustainable landscaping, home brewing, and much more! Our nursery also includes my wife and 2 kids. We work together, learn together, and travel together. My wife is Panamanian and we try to grow lots of good Latin American ingedients. We live in Baldwin, Pennsylvania in the South Hills of Pittsburgh.

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