Did you know that your backyard birds like to start gathering food for winter during the autumn months?
If you don’t feed birds year round, fall is a great time to set up your bird feeding station. Birds like Blue Jays stash seeds just as chipmunks and squirrels do. Science has shown that they also have excellent memories, and have demonstrated their skill at locating their hidden treasures all winter long. Nuthatches and woodpeckers are some of the many birds that hide food for later consumption.
1. Correct placement of your feeders will insure your birds do not crash into your windows. Sadly, approximately one billion birds die in the U.S. each year from glass window and door collisions. The best way to prevent fatal collisions is to place your feeders within 3 feet, or more than 30 feet, from windows. Placing your bird feeders that close to glass ensures birds do not have room to gain a lot of speed, greatly reducing the number of fatal collisions.
That placement also gives you a great view of their antics and interactions with other birds. Besides being very entertaining, studies have shown that bird watching can reduce stress and lower blood pressure. Next time you need a time out, try watching your backyard birds. You will be amazed at the calming affects bird watching can produce.
2. Another great tip is to locate your feeder about 3 to 5 feet from a large shrub. This gives your birds plenty of opportunity for perching while waiting their turn at the feeder. Birds will also use the branches as leverage to help them open the seeds, which will not hurt the shrubs at all. Bushes can be evergreen or deciduous, and they will provide shelter from winter winds and snow, as well as predators. A feeder placed near a shrub helps birds feel more secure, and gives them a place to ‘hang out’ and socialize.
3. When the nights turn colder in the fall I begin hanging suet for my birds to enjoy. It helps them to store fat for the upcoming winter months. That extra layer of fat makes a great deal of difference in how well they survive frigid temperatures. If your weather is still warm during the day, choose ‘no-melt’ suet cakes.
4. I like to use peanut butter combined with cornmeal to smear on pine cones. Fashion a hanger by measuring approximately 12 inches of wire, and winding one end around the top of a pine cone. Make a wide loop in the other end, and secure by twisting the wire together. Hang the cones on tree limbs and enjoy watching your birds savor this very helpful treat.
Besides helping birds stay warm, food sources that contain high fat concentrations also help maintain birds’ feathers in optimum condition for flying and evading possible predators.
High-fat Food Sources Include:
- Peanut Butter
- Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
- Walnuts, broken into small pieces
5. When you are out shopping for pumpkins and gourds, remember your birds. They enjoy gleaning the seeds from inside these vegetables. To give them easy access to the seeds, use a sharp knife to cut a rectangular hole in the front and back of the pumpkin. By the way, Northern Cardinals are nuts about pumpkin seeds!
Place on a flat platform feeder so your backyard visitors can enjoy all the pumpkin innards! Once they have cleaned out the pumpkins seeds, you can remove any excess strings and add sunflower seeds, cracked corn and any other bird goodies you have to offer.
6. Gourds can be hung by drilling a hole in the neck of the gourd and inserting a piece of wire, leather shoe lace or thin rope. Carefully cut a round hole in the front of the gourd, about 2″ from the bottom, for birds to enter and find any meat and seeds. Again, once the gourd is cleaned out, you can add sunflower seeds, dried fruit pieces or nutmeats.
7. Be sure to have a camera on hand to snap some fun pictures of your feathered friends enjoying their autumn bounty. It’s a great way to get your child or grandchild interested in an enjoyable and educational hobby. Start a scrapbook to include pictures you or they have taken, articles about birds, bird feathers they have gathered, and notes on their favorite bird or birds.
Autumn is such a colorful and wonderful season. Make sure your backyard birds are included in the fun, and you will be rewarded with their songs and visits all winter long.
Connie Smith is the proud owner and manager of Grandma Pearl’s Backporch, LLC, and the expert author of many online articles about easy and unique ways you can create the best bird-friendly habitats to help wild birds survive and thrive. Discover how to create fun and safe backyard habitats for wild birds using their preferred plants and foods, while adding color, fragrance and beauty to your landscape. Find simple how-to projects for making your own unique bird feeders; and learn how easy it is to attract a variety of birds to your yard and gardens. Visit today!
Article Source: EzineArticles.com