Birds add color to a winter garden. If you've never encouraged birds to visit your home and garden, consider adding plants next spring that shelter and feed them.
Natural habitat is the best way to attract birds. A yard with native plantings that appeal to the birds can also be very effective landscaping. Some of the best-loved trees and shrubs for color and form are also favorite sources of berries, seeds and fruits. Ornamental crabapples add lovely blossoms in the spring and usually hold fruit until winter.
Hollies, viburnums, dogwoods, bittersweet, honeysuckles, coned evergreens and others provide food, besides serving as beautiful foundation plantings, hedges, trees, vines and windbreaks. While providing natural foods all through the year, mixed plantings provide cover during bitter weather. A vine-covered arbor provides nesting spots, while dense under-story plantings protect from predators.
Providing foods in a feeder brings the birds up close for viewing, but plenty of birds can be attracted without erecting feeders. The more diverse the garden plantings, the more variety of birds attracted. Flower gardens can be planned to feature plants that have tough seed heads that hang on through winter. Roses have nutrient-rich hips and thorny places to nest. A natural source of water, or a heated birdbath, also attracts birds.