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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  • Can juniper titmice be found in eastern US? In Sourh Carolina? I swear we saw one!
    by Marnie Lynn Browder, Sun, 10 Jun 2018
  • Fascinating, how insightful both the humans and cheep cheeps are... Thanks for sharing.
    by Kimber timbers, Fri, 27 Apr 2018
  • #18 in the Gallery is misidentified as a Tree Sparrow, instead of Tree Swallow.
    by Ron, Mon, 23 Apr 2018
  • yep i do the microwave too....they don't break down in our compost so the birds get them!
    by ecumam2, Wed, 18 Apr 2018
  • As you probably know, sunflower seed hulls have a bio-chemical in them, (allelopathic), which keeps any other seeds from sprouting, in the same area. I have used this fact, to a purpose. With a large build up, each year (& yes, it is a bare spot!), I rake up the "bounty" & spread them on areas of bulbs & perennials to keep the annual weeds down. It's also helpful near blue squill bulbs, which drop seeds through the fence that divides a perennial garden, from the lawn , where they are welcome to naturalize. The garden can be over run with them, so sunflower hulls can keep the sprouting down.
    by Plntlady, Tue, 17 Apr 2018