SPRING TIPS FOR THE BACKYARD BIRDER
….Compliments of Wild Birds Forever
Here’s your chance to spring to action with our list of “must do’s”! (Pardon our Pun!) So what are you waiting for? Get ready for spring and start attracting more birds to your backyard this year!
- Freshen up your feeding areas! Clean your bird feeders! Take down all your bird feeders and thoroughly scrub them in a 10% bleach solution. Allow them to completely dry before refilling with fresh seed. You should be cleaning your feeders at least twice a year to prevent the spread of diseases at your feeding stations.
- Consider moving all your feeders or feeding station to different parts of your backyard. Or freshen up the area under them with a 2 inch layer of bark mulch to cover the winter’s accumulation of seed hulls. This will prevent any build up of spoiled food under your feeders and will help prevent the possible spread of diseases at your feeder.
- Consider the different bird feeders and food you have in your backyard. If you don’t have each of the following types of feeders or food, try adding one or two of them this year. Remember to keep your feeding stations and water spaced approximately 10 to 15 feet apart from each other to attract the most birds!
A Suet feeder for insect eating birds.
– Special thistle feeders for house finches, pine siskins and goldfinches.
– Add a sunflower seed feeder. Remember! Black oil sunflower is hands down the preferred food of most songbirds.
– A Platform feeder for all bird types and food.
Try experimenting with a fruit feeder this year. Apples are a favorite with nesting birds!
– A nectar feeder for hummingbirds and orioles is a must have!
– A source of water – noisy water is a magnet for birds. Try adding a dripper or mister this year.
- 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 egg shells 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.
- Plant for year round food sources. Select several plants for your area that will produce food in the form of berries, nuts or fruits year round.
- 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.
- 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: Yarn (Pieces no longer than 8 inches), animal or human hair, twigs, straw, narrow strips of soft cloth, feathers, stuffing from old furniture, dryer lint, excelsior, shredded cotton, grass, pine needles, thin strips of fabric softener sheets.
- 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!
- Get your hummingbird feeders up now! Hummingbirds are very territorial and will fearlessly defend their food sources, often monopolizing a single feeder. Try adding an additional hummingbird feeder to your backyard, out of sight of the dominant hummingbird to attract more hummingbirds to your backyard.