Birds fly through life, and through our yards,
working tirelessly. Finding food; seeking water; building nests;
raising families. And, along the way, they bring their free spirits,
bright colors and constant chatter into our lives.
two reasons to feed the birds — for yourself and for the birds.
Nothing brightens up a yard like a flock of colorful finches or
other songbirds. Attracting birds to your backyard or patio can be
as simple as setting up a birdfeeder with seed. As a hobby, bird
feeding can prove to be both inexpensive and infinitely rewarding.
But as with any past time, there are a few simple steps you can take
to make your hobby more enjoyable.
Birds require four basic
things to survive: food, water, protection from the elements and
danger, and a place to raise their young safely. All
The availability of fresh water is a
critical element in attracting wild birds year round. Songbirds,
especially, need a sizable quantity for drinking and bathing. Birds
also need water to keep their feathers clean and fluffy to provide
the insulation to keep warm in cold weather
prefer a water source far enough away from surrounding vegetation to
allow a clear view of approaching danger, but close enough to seek
refuge if it is needed. Vary the depth of water in birdbaths from
about two inches to quite shallow. A few flat rocks under the
water’s surface makes a convenient landing spot for smaller birds.
The presence of water at your feeding station may attract some type
of birds that food alone will not. Birds that favor a diet of
insects or fruit may not have a reason to stop for visit unless you
offer a place for a drink or a bath. Shelter and
Birds are dependent on flight for
safety. Therefore, they are most vulnerable when they are grounded
to rest, feed or nest. Protection means staying both comfortable and
safe. A wide variety of plant vegetation and trees will provide the
best range of habitat for birds. Protection from cold winds and
driving rain allow birds to maintain body heat, and keep healthy.
Birds that are exposed to cold, wet and windy weather are very
vulnerable to exposure, resulting in possible death. Without
protective cover nearby, wild birds will not frequent bird feeders
even if they contain the most desirable seed. Cleanliness
Clean is the byword for backyard bird
feeding. We must make the effort to offer the cleanest, most
bird-friendly way stations for dining and drinking. This means a
fresh supply of food and water at all times. Any time birds
congregate, there is a chance for the transmission of disease. Seed
left in a feeder for a long period of time can harbor bacteria and
viruses. Old, moldy seed left in the feeder will not attract wild
birds. Other Issues
Many people will only
feed the birds in the winter months. It is reasonable to think that
natural foods become abundant as the temperatures warm, but March
and April can be the most stressful months for birds. Food supplies
in the wild are almost exhausted, new crops are not yet ripened and
insects still are dormant. A dependable source of supplemental food
can be quite important to the birds. September and October are also
good months to re-organize and enlarge your feeding station for the
coming winter months.
People wonder whether bird feeding
causes birds to change their migratory behavior. The cue that most
birds use to migrate is the change in day length rather than the
availability of food. Also, peak migration time is late summer and
fall, a time when natural foods are readily available anyway.
Experts feel that it is very unlikely that backyard feeding of birds
has any negative effect on their migratory patterns.
feed birds, you’re in good company. Birding as a hobby currently
stands second only to gardening as America’s favorite pastime. Take
some time every day to observe and enjoy the bird-friendly
environment you’ve created.
We would be interested in
hearing from you with any questions or comments. You can contact us
Squirrel Free Products
Buffalo, New York, 14207