Nesting Birds

TIPS FOR HELPING NESTING BIRDS

Picture of nesting bird Spring is a busy time for nesting birds and a delightful time for the backyard birder to watch and observe. Birds will readily nest in areas where a steady supply of food, water and shelter exists.

  • As spring approaches, don’t forget the importance of offering nesting materials to entice nesting birds to your backyard. A single nest can take thousands of individual search and carry missions for nesting birds. Help them out by offering nesting materials in concentrated, readily observable piles or stashes to reduce the time it takes a bird to find things and build a nest. Offer the following items wedged in the trunk of a tree, an empty suet cage or a basket suspended from the branch of a tree:

String or Yarn (No longer than 3-4 inches)
Animal or Human Hair
Small Twigs or Strips of Bark
Straw
Narrow Strips of Soft Cloth
Feathers
Stuffing from Old Furniture
Dryer Lint
Excelsior
Shredded Cotton
Grass
Pine Needles
Sawdust Chips
Shredded Paper
Thin Strips of Fabric Softener Sheets

Too busy? Don’t worry! We have ready to go nesting materials!

  • Early spring is the time to put up more birdhouses or nesting shelves so prime real estate is waiting and ready for nesting birds. Offering species specific nest boxes as well as nesting materials will not only help nesting birds, but will entice nesting birds and their off-spring to your yard on a consistent basis.
  • If you want to offer birdhouses in your garden, some common nesting box birds include bluebirds, chickadees, and wrens!
  • Don’t stop feeding suet to your wild birds when the weather warms. Suet is a year round feeding practice and is especially important to nesting birds in the spring. Mating, building a nest and raising the young are very taxing. Suet is a welcome source of energy during this time of year. Keeping suet handy all year will keep those beautiful insect eating birds coming back for more.
  • In the spring, try tossing a few dried and crushed eggshells in the feeder. Nesting birds will appreciate the extra source of calcium as they begin to lay their eggs.
  • Clean out your nest boxes. Remove any old nests and scrub with a 10% bleach solution. Allow to dry thoroughly before remounting. Be sure to clean out your nest boxes after each brood has fledged. This will prevent the spread of parasites or disease.
  • Have fun in the mud! Robins, swallows and other birds use mud as an important component of their nests. Create a sloppy, gooey mud puddle for them!

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