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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  • I live in Southeastern Massachusetts. Four "orphaned" very young poults (males) showed up in my yard about a year ago. They have been around all year. I do feed them cracked corn, and they come when I call for them. I don't want to over- domesticate them, but they do recognize me as the lady that brings food. They roost in the big oak trees at night. I have a 1 acre lot, with many acres of protected forest out back and a pond on the property.Lately, during mating season, I have had hens in the yard too. We've counted as many as 7 Toms and hens, but today, had just the one stalwart (a very robust Tom) that comes everyday. One of the Toms that has recently made an appearance is wounded, limping with an obvious predator wound. The local wildlife experts say he should make a full recovery, and that he's best left to recover with his flock.I find them to be interesting and beautiful birds.
    by Heather Cole, Mon, 06 Apr 2020
  • You have to put food in it.
    by Truckee Man, Mon, 06 Apr 2020
  • Love listeningto both songs and calls from birds in our woody neighborhood. The two types of birds I immediately recognize are the cardinals and the chickadees. Yesterday afternoon too, I heard a woodpecker. Then it’s time to check the birdfeeders and the birdbath. Then In no time at all the cardinals and chickadees arrive, as if they had been watching me. As it gets busier around the feeders, I also hear thé screeching of the blue jays. I even saw a couple of robins checking out our lawn....spring has arrived as the last pat gesofisticeerde snow and ice melt away.
    by louisabt, Sun, 08 Mar 2020
  • I am wondering about existing nests for Phoebes. I have two outdoor aisle entries to my barn and there are old Phoebe nests up. They ignore them each year and build new nests adjacent to the old, but space is running out. Should I knock down the old nests so they can rebuild?
    by [email protected], Sun, 02 Feb 2020
  • Just wondering, should we put anything in the bottom of the box...twigs, clippings, leaves....anything at all?
    by Hebb, Tue, 28 Jan 2020