Feb 19, 2015 | Featured Web Article

Backyard Tip: Crushed Eggshells Are for the Birds

Many species, including tree swallows, eat crushed eggshells both for calcium and for use as grit.
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When you make your breakfast eggs, save the eggshells! We can hear you asking: "What? Why?" The answer is they are a great addition to your bird-feeding program. Many different species eat crushed eggshells both for the calcium they provide to nesting females and for use as grit in the food-digesting process in the gizzards of seed- and insect-eating birds. Rinse out your eggshells, place them in a metal tray in an oven set at 325 degrees. Bake the shells for 20 to 30 minutes to kill off any bacteria from the domestic chickens that laid them, then crush the shells and spread them on a flat, open surface such as a sidewalk, driveway, deck railing, low roof, or patch of bare soil. Swallows, martins, sparrows, finches, bluebirds, and other backyard birds will visit this new offering.

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  • This is a good point. While cleaning mine, I kinda got the impression the cheep cheeps were waiting on me since they started chirping as soon as I brought it outside again. I swear they are so smart. Within five minutes of filling the feeder up, they are there to feast.cheers Cheep cheeps!
    by Kimber timbers, Fri, 20 Jul 2018
  • Hahaha, I love the ending remark "that area will have already been well -fertilized!"I've noticed that there are more cheep cheeps right after I clean the bird feeder compared to how many there are right before it was cleaned...so cheep cheeps do like and appreciate a well maintained feeder and they are worth the effort. : )
    by Kimber timbers, Fri, 20 Jul 2018
  • The storm saying seems true so far. We had as party at our bird feeder right before our last storm... 6 at once but different cheeps cheeps would come and go so there were more than 6 for sure..and squirrels eating with the birds
    by Kimber timbers, Fri, 13 Jul 2018
  • I know and do clean my feeders both for seed and for hummingbird liquid. I have a vase full of different size brushes that are only for this purpose. I have friends however who NEVER clean their feeders or bird baths, and it’s gross! I am ringing this article and will have to give out to the few offenders I know. I can’t imagine looking at such mess and not cleaning it, but not everyone thinks resale. Part of responsible bird watching/loving is to make the time and take the effort to do this.
    by Carol, Tue, 10 Jul 2018
  • Can juniper titmice be found in eastern US? In Sourh Carolina? I swear we saw one!
    by Marnie Lynn Browder, Sun, 10 Jun 2018