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A quick guide to making your yard “Bird Attractive”
Spring is just around the corner and it won’t be long before Song Birds return from their wintering grounds to their nesting sites.
We’ll be trying to make our yards as bird friendly as possible, hoping they choose our yards as nesting sites rather than picking some place else.
We’ll put out feeders. The more available food is, the smaller a bird’s territory needs to be. This allows more room in your yard for more birds.
Houses should be placed in different locations throughout your yard. Houses made to different dimensions will attract different types of birds. Some thought should be given to which birds can live together, and which will have problems. Wrens, Finches, Chickadees, Nuthatches and Woodpeckers do well in the same territory, but you certainly don’t want to place any kind of houses that would attract Owls or any other predatory type of birds.
Access to fresh water is always a necessity. This can easily be accomplished by putting out a bird bath. Not only does this give birds a ready supply of drinking water, but also allows them a place to bathe. Bathing is important for several reasons. It helps to keep feathers clean, which allows for needed insulating properties, and it helps to keep birds free from parasites. Please, REMEMBER to clean your bird bath at least once a week, and more often if used by a large number of birds. Cleaning your bird bath will insure clean water and keep your bath free from harmful mold and bacteria.
Nesting material can be a BIG plus to attracting our feathered friends. Nesting material is anything that birds use to build nests and is used to cushion, insulate, camouflage and protect eggs and chicks from predators and/or the elements. Here is a list of items that can be used as nesting material;
- Small sticks and twigs,
- String or Yarn (Do not use pieces longer than 6 inches in length)
- Strips of cloth (Cloth strips should be ½ to ¾ inches wide and 4 to 5 inches long)
- Dryer lint
- Cotton batting
- Dried grass clippings or dead grass
- Pine Needles
- Cattail fluff
- Cotton balls
Small sticks and twigs can be piled in different locations in the yard. The other materials can be mixed together and placed into a wire suet cage or a mesh bag (such as an onion bag) and hung from fence posts, deck railings, or tied to trees, or you can jam the nesting material into the crevices of trees. You can get more decorative and creative and place baskets or buckets (or anything else you like) around the yard and fill them with the different nesting materials.
Landscaping is also important. If you live in a New Development or your yard is not bird friendly you should give some thought as to how you would like to landscape your yard. This is something that will take planning and may take several seasons to accomplish. Take your time and have fun. Bird houses are great for attracting and providing nesting, but not all birds will use them. Trees, bushes, shrubs and evergreens are important for attracting birds and providing safe areas for nesting and roosting. They also offer protection from the elements and predators such as Hawks and Falcons
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