Bird watching is a treasured pastime for many. But how do you make your yard safe for birds?
Enjoying the birds without putting them in danger requires a few extra steps, beyond mounting a birdhouse or feeder, to ensure that your backyard is a haven for wrens, woodpeckers, blue bird or whichever birds you want to see each afternoon.
Food and water in winter
Water can be provided, in a bird bath or a simple container, just make sure to bring it in or drain it if you know it might freeze. Place rocks and branches around the water dish to give birds a place to perch while drinking. This will help them keep feathers dry on cold days.
When feeding birds in the cold it is important to remember not to allow feed to freeze. Suet feeders are ideal during this time of year, providing extra nourishment for birds. However, they will need to be brought in at night when temperatures dip below freezing.
Suet feeders sometimes attract other unwanted guests, be aware and keep an eye out. Rats will jump as high as eight feet to get at the suet cake you intended to feed the woodpeckers in your yard.
Make sure that Hummingbird feeders are brought in during the cold. Liquid expands as it freezes and could warp or crack your feeder.
When the weather grows warmer, do these maintenance items to keep birds coming back over and over again:
- Provide easily accessible water. Change the water every two or three days.
- Scrub your bird bath every few months; use an old sponge or toothbrush to remove any mold. Do not use cleaning products, which could harm birds. Instead, a simple water and vinegar solution works best.
- Bird feeders are usually unnecessary during summer months, except for Hummingbirds. Food is plentiful this time of year unless you live in an urban area with little green space.
Safe flight zone
Position your bird feeders, birdhouses and baths where cats and other predators can’t easily access them. This will help your birds stay safe and make them more likely to nest in your yard.
Protect birds from one of their greatest hazards, windows! If you find birds continually running into one of your windows, try moving any house plants away from the window and invest in an anti-collision window decal.