Tips for Feeding and Housing our Wild Feathered FriendsPosted: March 13, 2013
Spring is in the air and its also that time of year you can attract beautiful birds into your yard. March is when birds start to migrating and come back to their spring habitats. Attract our feathered friends with a variety of bird feeders, nesting material and bird baths.
Birds will flock to feeders that have seeds nuts and animal fat. You can pick up a cake of this favorite and hang it from a tree branch with no bird feeder needed. You may want to place an aluminum pan under it to catch the seed shells. You can buy it or make your own like Claudia Brownlie of the Artistic Garden.
Birds not only like seeds some birds like Orioles prefer fruit. Place a pan of their favorite, orange slices, out in your yard and watch them flock in.. Blue Jays love peanuts, a few of these in a bird feeder, (to keep the squirrels away) will keep them coming back.
If Hummingbirds had teeth they would all be sweet. Hummingbirds balance their diet eating flower nectar for energy and bugs for protein. A treat you can make for them is energizing sugar water. Here is a recipe that is quite common for hummingbirds.
1 part sugar and 4 parts water. Add a 1/4 cup of sugar to 1 cup of water to a sauce pan and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Do not over boil. The boiling is to kill mold and yeast spores that might be in the sugar and remove any chlorine in the water. Cover and allow to cool before adding to your feeder. Also when choosing a hummingbird feeder, consider how easy it will be to keep clean and maintain and know that Hummingbirds are attracted to the color red. Your feeder may come with instructions on how long you can leave the sugar water, but just in case it does not check your feeder regularly. Different outside temperatures can cause the sugar to go bad at different lengths of time. If you see that the nectar is milky, has white strings or black spots, dump it out, clean the feeder and replace the nectar with new.
Tall, small, or in between, bird feeders not only decorate your yard, they also make for fantastic bird watching, and help the birds. When choosing a bird feeder, consider other animals that may want to steal the food, like squirrels. There are bird feeders available that the perches will collapse under the weight of an animal larger then the birds and you can find most bird feeders at your local HomeDepot or Lowes type store or online.
Proper maintenance of your bird feeder is important to keep the birds from disease of possibly eating moldy or rancid food. Disinfect the feeders and water sources regularly. Never add more food over old food, if there is a little leftover when its time to do housekeeping on your bird feeder, better to throw it out and start fresh. See the directions on your bag of feed for proper care and how long it can be left out. If you have a cat or cats in the neighborhood you may want to have a tall standing bird feeder for the safety of the birds.
Nesting is quite common in the spring and these new Mom’s and Dads to be want to set up housekeeping. Have materials available for them to build their nests.
Add a crate or wire cage to your yard with leaves, hair clippings (you and your pets) grass clippings (not treated with pesticides), yarn, small scraps of clothing. Do not offer your nesters anything that may contain harmful chemicals or dryer lint sheets.
Some birds like to nest in shrubs and hedges. Pick a corner of your yard and add a pile of leaves and twigs that the birds can pick up and start building. Have an old hollow tree or branch? The Chicadee birds love to set up their home in these.
Make you home a safe place for birds. About 100 million birds are injured or killed from flying into windows according to the Audubon Society. Hang a sun catcher or some sort of decal to prevent this from happening.
Birds love the water and there are many decorative bird baths available from a few dollar to hundreds. You choose what you would like to decorate your yard and can be used year round in warmer climate area’s. They not only provide a reliable source of water, but also the bath helps to cool off the birds. add clean stones inside the bird bath for the birds to perch on and do not make it too deep that they will drown. Make sure you clean up that water regularly to prevent mold and getting the birds sick from drinking dirty water.
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