I'm thinking questions about

  • maintaining a yard friendly to birds
  • attracting different species of birds to your garden
  • keeping birds from nesting in places in your garden
  • keeping specific types of birds away
  • The right bird seed to use to attract cardinals

(same kind of questions could apply to other garden friends -- squirrels, chipmunks, etc)

Would these be appropriate? They relate to a garden, but not necessarily to plants. It seems that there's a significant overlap between maintaining a healthy garden for plants AND maintaining a healthy garden for the animals you want to attract while keeping the ones away that you don't want to have around.

But then there's questions like

  • What species of bird is this?
  • When does this type of bird nest?
  • Where does bird X migrate to in the winter?
  • What is the reproductive cycle of chipmunks?

These questions seem more ambiguous to me and may not be as tied to gardening. They seem like they might be more general biology.

Thoughts? Where should we draw the line? How should we draw it?

  • 1
    Hi Doug! Your questions about birds, chipmunks, etc. are welcome and encouraged at The Great Outdoors. When you asked this, I believe they were off-topic, but since then a number of bird and backyard animal proposals were merged into TGO as part of a campaign to increase user base and diversify questions. There aren't a lot of us asking the questions yet, so we need you! The folks in chat are great in case you're unsure, but I'm confident you'll be comfortable there! Please join us!!!! :) Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 18:34

1 Answer 1


As long as the question is about how to make the garden more or less suitable for some horticultural purpose, I think the question is very on-topic, regardless of the specific animal:

  • What plants can I add to my garden to attract bees?
  • How can I keep caterpillars off my vegetables without using pesticides?
  • What can I do to keep local cats from pooping in my flowerbeds?

If the question is not aimed at changing the garden somehow, it's definitely off-topic.

  • 1
    What about things like bird feeders or bird fountains that aren't strictly horticultural but still might enhance a garden by inviting more feathered friends?
    – Doug T.
    Commented Jun 8, 2011 at 21:56
  • Definitely blurring the line there, but still within scope for me. You're still talking about changing the garden by adding or changing features. Commented Jun 8, 2011 at 22:10
  • 1
    Yes blurring - I would say out of scope. However, I would agree that all the other items on the first list should be in scope.
    – winwaed
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 0:38

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