Nancy asks…

How do you get Cardinals (the birds) to come to your yard?

I love Cardinals but they never come to my yard.How can I get them to come?It helps if you’re an expert,but I don’t require it.

Rose answers:

The sunflower seeds in a fly-through birdfeeder should do the trick. Cardinals are rather skittish and like the kinds of feeders where they can easily see what’s going on. But, basically, if you have sunflower seeds where they can get to them, they’ll come. (Putting the feeder near a bush or tree where they can perch after taking a seed will keep them closer.)

Daniel asks…

What types of birds are useful in eliminating mosquitoes? And how do you lure them to your yard?

I love working in my yard and have been hanging bird houses and bird feeders this year. I’ve really given no thought to particular types of birds though. Tonight I came inside because the mosquitoes were driving me crazy and it occurred to me that there is most likely some type of bird that eats mosquitoes…what are they and how do I get them to make my home their home?

Rose answers:

Purple Martins, Robins, Bats and adding a pond to your backyard will all help. Keep up with the bird feeders, though, because even though these birds don’t eat seed too much, they like to hang out with other birds. Plus the pond will bring the insect-eating birds, too.

Something else to consider: planting marigolds in pots around your doorways to keep the buggers outside.

Helen asks…

Anyone know a good way to keep birds out of your yard? I don’t want to poison them…?

I’ve got starlings roosting in the tree in my backyard. They come in to roost every night and cause an incredible racket and defecate all over the tree. Anyone know how to get rid of them? I don’t want to kill them, I just want them away from my house.

Rose answers:

The best place to start, as someone suggested above, would be to get a good visual scare device, such at the TerrorEyes ( The problem with the fake plastic owls and the pie pans is that they are static and unchanging and birds quickly become used to them. The TerrorEyes is a bright orange balloon with holographic eyes that move and appear to follow the birds wherever they go. This scares them a lot, and they leave. Also, you could try Irritape around the tree. There are also sticky substances you can put on the tree that they don’t like and a host of other humane and economic methods to keep birds out of your garden. Visit for more information. Best of luck.

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