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The Honey Do List: Bird feeding

Birds are extremely active creatures, and they eat constantly. Their high rate of activity requires a lot of nutrition. That’s why bird feeding is a great hobby any time of the year.

That’s especially the case now, when birds are building nests and preparing for new families. Bird houses and feeders should be up, clean and well stocked in the next few days.

You can make your yard bird-friendly by paying attention to just a few details. Evergreens can provide year-long shelter from the elements and predators. Consider planting more evergreens in your yard, whether shrubbery or individual trees, in a location near where you will also place bird houses, feeders and a birdbath. Or create your habitat close to existing evergreens.

Shelter from wind is important. Placed near structures like your house or garage, feeders and birdhouses are protected from strong winter winds and can give great vantage points from an inside window.

What you put in your feeders is important. Particular bird species prefer specific types of food. Grains (seeds) and suet (seeds and fruits embedded in fat) are popular with a wide variety of bird species. Seeds include sunflower seeds, corn and millet. Black sunflower seeds and millet, in particular, are very popular among many common types of birds, such as cardinals, finches, woodpeckers and other birds. Installing a few bird feeders, each stocked with different types of food, is the best way to attract the greatest variety of bird types.

Note that feeding birds won’t prevent those who migrate from leaving your area. This is instinctual and has nothing to do with whether or not there is food available. For those birds that do stay throughout the winter, remember that once you start feeding them, you must continue to do so or they will leave to find food elsewhere. Often, they will not come back.

There are lots of advantages to having bird friends in your yard and the surrounding neighborhood. They are beautiful, interesting to watch and help control those annoying summer insects.

Remember, help is just around the corner at your local hardware store.

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