Why wouldn’t you want a garden full of birds and their songs? My city garden is alive with birds—not rock pigeons, European starlings and house sparrows, but species native to this region.
Anna’s hummingbirds, golden-crowned sparrows, dark-eyed juncos, bushtits, bewick’s wrens, spotted towhees, American robins, Cooper’s hawks, merlins . . . the list goes on. A savannah sparrow spent a few sheltered days in our garden recuperating after a window strike. The long grass and other plants gave it plenty of shelter from predatory eyes.
Small trees, bushes and ground cover all make a multilayered environment that is great habitat for a range of birds. Plant flowers for pollinating insects. Leave debris on the ground to provide shelter for other arthropods and prevent rain compaction of the soil.
Cultivate seed-bearing plants that birds can harvest in addition to plants that you can enjoy, both visually and on the dinner table. In our garden, there is a fair degree of sharing with our avian neighbours. Our thornless blackberries, kale flowers and borage are a hit with the house finches.
Have a look at this video series. Obviously, based on the birds (cardinals—wow!), this is from eastern Canada (Ontario). The closest comparisons I have seen in my garden to the bold colours of a cardinal are a western tanager and northern oriole.
The same garden design principles apply everywhere—complexity, minimum disturbance, a water source(?). Wherever you are in North America, you can have a garden full of birds, colour, song and natural entertainment.