When contemplating the task of attracting birds to your yard, consider the answer to this question. What would you as a person require to thrive in your own living environment?
Food, water, and a place to live. Birds are no different. They require the same things. Give them these things and they will keep coming back to your yard.
The most important factor in getting birds to keep coming to your yard is to have the right kind of bird seed for them to feast on. As you probably already know, all birds don't eat the same type of food. For instance, song birds prefer black oil sunflower seeds, while suet will attract fat loving birds like wrens, creepers, nuthatches and robins. If you're puzzled about what kind of food to get to attract birds to your yard, make a visit to your local specialized bird care store and they will let you know what the local bird population make up is and what to feed them. If you don't have a bird specialty store in your area, a trip to your local chain grocer or home improvement store and checking out what kind of bird food they sell will give you a good indication of what type will be your best choice. Choose good quality bird feeders and keep them filled with the proper bird seeds.
Providing a reliable source of water for your visiting birds is sure to keep them coming back. Birds need water for both bathing and drinking. Your water source should easily accessible to the birds but not positioned in a wide open space. Birds are very cautious because of their natural predators and they will be very hesitant to drink water unless it's near a tree, bush or any place they can take cover if they feel threatened. Water can be made available via a bird bath, small pond or small man made waterfall. Birds are definitely more attracted to moving water. They can spot water in motion from a further distance than stagnant water. An electric or solar bird bath would be a wise choice in that they produce moving water.
Shelter to a bird can be something as simple as a small bush in your yard or garden. Their main concern is safety and security, especially when it comes to raising their young. If you're fortunate enough to have trees, bushes and other foliage around your home, you already have possible shelter for the birds that you want to attract. Not having trees and other foliage around your home is not a deal breaker when it comes to attracting birds. Small bushes and trees can be purchased and planted in your yard to give birds shelter as well as a possible source of food. There are also bird houses that can be purchased to give certain species of birds shelter and security.
A great benefit of attracting birds is that they not only eat bird seed but some species also eat those pesky insects that may bother you while you're trying to enjoy the outdoors. Another benefit is the nature lessons learned from watching the activies of birds.
Unless you live in Antarctica or the Sahara Desert, attracting birds is not that difficult. If you're just starting out in your effort to get birds to come to your yard, this is what I would do. I would purchase me a bird feeder, go to the local bird specialty store or home improvement store and get some bird seed and fill the feeder with the seed. I would then position the feeder outside where it can be viewed from inside your home, and just wait 2 or 3 days to see if you get any visitors. If you're not at home when the birds visit your bird feeder, you can usually tell if they've been there by the bird seed dropped below the feeder.
Attracting birds is a never ending pleasure because the exact protocol for attracting them is not carved in stone. Experimentation with different bird seeds and a variety of bird houses will give you an assortment of results.