Sometimes Joan Rottkamp simply can't wait for winter, and it's not because of the hazy, hot, and humid days of late summer. Her Franklin Lakes back yard is a bird sanctuary of sorts - actually listed as a Certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation - purposefully landscaped to attract birds.To Rottkamp, there's nothing cheerier than a bright red cardinal feeding against the snowy backdrop of February's gloom, and many Americans agree: Nearly one in three watch and feed backyard birds at home, adding up to $2 billion spent each year on wild bird feed. But her resources - of berries, pine cones, seed heads, and more - are all free and renewable, and add up to a carefree landscape that attracts birds throughout the year.
This Back Yard Is for the Birds ; Humans Create Habitats Outside Their Windows for Feathered Friends
"If you want to attract birds, you want to feed them with, preferably, natural foods," Rottkamp says of her birdscape.Her natural foods include honeysuckle vines and a shad tree, both native plants which are early to bloom and provide fruit and nectar each spring.Her elderberry is attractin...