How to Attract American Goldfinches and Lesser Goldfinches

American goldfinch

Intro: The American goldfinch may be one of the first wild birds you see in your balcony garden. These birds are common and easy to attract, and the males display a beautiful clear and bright yellow color (they are also called the wild canary). Male American goldfinches also have a black cap and black wings with a horizontal white stripe. Although they are a breathtaking yellow in the summer, they turn a dull yellow-brown during the winter months (due to a full molt). Females are a dull yellow-brown all year and have black wings but no black on the head. Both males and females are white on the rump.

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How to Attract Monarch Butterflies to the Garden

Monarch butterfly

Intro: It is always exciting to spot a monarch butterfly among the container plants in a balcony garden. These butterflies lead interesting migratory lives, are conspicuous and beautiful, and will always make an interesting addition to a balcony garden. To help support your local wildlife, set up a butterfly garden where butterflies can come rest and grab some nectar. A butterfly garden will be especially helpful in the late summer months when they need to consume enough nectar to give them energy for their annual migration south.

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How to Choose Birdseed

Birdseed typesWhen it comes to feeding the wild birds at your balcony garden birdfeeder, you may pick up the cutest or cheapest bird feeder (or even make your own), and purchase some cheap birdseed. Although it may work on one or two species of common wild birds, this is not the best way to go about attracting birds to your balcony container garden.

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Keeping Rats Out of the Garden

Roof ratSometimes rats and mice can discover paradise near humans. Container gardens, especially those with birdfeeders, can invite these little rodents. Our job as balcony container gardeners is to be stewards to nature, so natural remedies for ridding ourselves of unwanted creatures are always better than traps and poisons. Here are some hints that you may have a rat neighbor and some ways to drive that neighbor away.

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The Benefits of Attracting Birds

Wild bird sparrowBalcony birdwatching is a rewarding hobby, and it gives you an excuse to stare out the window at your balcony garden. Wild birds will eventually become so used to you that they will learn your habits and wait for you to fill up the birdfeeder. Some may be brave enough to feed or hang out on the balcony while you’re working in on your garden's container plants. If you have a tree just beyond the balcony, you may be rewarded with seeing courting rituals (maybe you will even see a nest), hearing beautiful calls at all hours of the day and spotting beautiful new species visiting your feeder.

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