The spring migration season is drawing to a close for most of North America. That doesn’t mean the bird watching is any less dramatic. Follow these 12 steps to attract wild birds to your backyard all summer long.
Steps to Attracting Wild Birds
- As birds are nesting, the risk of finding nestlings out of the nest appears. If you find a small bird out of its nest watch it for a moment before you touch it. If it has few feathers and cannot hop or walk, it doesn’t belong out of the nest. Generally, you can safely pick it up and place it back in the nest. If the bird is hoping about, don’t touch it. It is probably a fledgling and the parents are usually nearby.
- If you live in the Midwestern United States or farther north, put out Oriole feeders to help attract Orioles with nectar and/or fruit and jelly. If Orioles are nesting in your area, use mealworm feeders to help them feed their nestlings.
- Clean your bird bath. Now that the weather is warmer, scrub your bird bath with a brush and a solution of eight parts water to one part bleach. Refill with water and consider adding an agitator to keep water insect and disease-free.
- In hot weather it’s important to store seed and suet properly. Make sure your seed is in an air-tight container and stored in the house or garage. Keep suet in the freezer to keep it from rotting.
- In the Northeastern United States Hummingbirds are everywhere. Keep your Hummingbird feeders clean and full. Use a nectar mix or make your own. Do not use kool-aid or other artificial sweeteners.
- Whether you’re attracting Orioles or Hummingbirds, use an ant moat filled with water to deter ants and keep your nectar feeders clean longer.
- Rub mint extract around the ports of your nectar feeders to repel bees.
- Add window decals or screens to your sliding glass doors and clear windows to help keep young birds from hitting the glass.
- Add a squirrel baffle to your pole-mounted feeders to help deter squirrels and raccoon.
- Then, add a squirrel feeder to keep these enchanting little pests happy too.
- If you find an injured bird, contact your local Wildlife Rehabilitator for help. Do not touch the bird or attempt to care for it yourself.
- Clean your patio furniture and add an easy DIY sunshade to give you a nice place to sit while watching the wild birds you’ve attracted to your feeders.
With these simple steps for attracting wild birds to your backyard, you’ll enjoy cardinals, goldfinches, chickadees and others most of the summer if you keep bird feeders and baths in good repair.
Enjoy the sunshine and our feathered friends in your garden!