Friday, October 14, 2011

Bring birds to your backyard

Wherever you live, you can bring comfort to wildlife and joy to your own life by offering a bit of habitat to nature’s creatures.
With the right plants for food and shelter, you can attract spring and fall migrating birds as well as those that might stay year round.
Add water and, if you happen to live on an acreage where you have ample space, you can do wonders for birds, butterflies and your own disposition.

Natural Food or Feeders.
Fruits, nuts, and seeds from trees, shrubs, flowers and grasses will attract a variety of birds. Look to plant those that offer the food the bird species likes that
you want in your yard. The same is true for feeding stations; the location, feeder style and food type will determine the birds that visit.
To attract the greatest variety of birds, use a station with a variety of feeder types, such as gravity-fed cylinder tubes, hopper boxes, platforms and suet feeders. Position them at different levels. Offer millet for ground feeders; black oil sunflower and thistle for finches, and peanut and suet for woodpeckers.
Locate the station feeders next to natural cover such as evergreen shrubs or trees. The feeders should be clean with fresh food or seed.

Open Water, Birdbaths.
Most birds need open water for bathing, drinking and controlling their temperatures. A small backyard pond or a birdbath will do the job. The sound of flowing water attracts birds, so a fountain or small waterfall will increase your chances to bring birds to your back yard.\

Cover, natural and manmade.
The same trees, shrubs, flowers and grasses that offer food to your backyard birds can offer them cover. The birds use that cover for escape, roosting, nesting and rearing their young.
Another option is to build or purchase birdhouses designed for
specific species of birds, with the opening size critical.

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