Aug 25, 2015 | Featured Web Article

Putting Out the Welcome Mat

Looking for ways to make your backyard avian visitors feel at home? Try the suggestions below.
Share:

Almost all migratory birds are experiencing population decreases due to loss of habitats and environmental contamination. Nonmigratory resident birds, too, are feeling the effects of the growing human population. This is not a call to rally on the White House lawn. You can do your part in your own backyard. Here are some suggestions:

1. Keep your yard as chemical-free as possible.

2. If you must quest for the perfect lawn, keep one area untreated and let it grow nice and weedy. The birds (and other creatures) will love it.

3. Clean your bird feeders and bird bath regularly to prevent the spread of disease.

4. Offer only as much food on platform feeders (or on the ground) as can be eaten in one day. Old food can get wet, spoiled, and can carry disease.

5. Provide housing for cavity-nesting birds.

6. Plant and maintain your property for other creatures like bats, butterflies, reptiles, and mammals.

7. Keep cats indoors or take them out on a leash. Domestic cats kill millions of songbirds annually. This tragic toll can be easily reduced. Bells on collars don't work. Stealthy cats can hunt without making them jingle.

8. Prevent window strikes (birds flying into large windows) by placing screening over problem windows. Flying birds cannot discern reflection from reality. Large glass windows reflect the surrounding habitat. Anything placed over the window breaks up the reflection and birds aren't fooled by the illusion. One particularly effective solution is to use FeatherGuard.

9. Pick up trash, such as rusty cans, plastic bags, fishing line, six-pack rings, and so on. Birds can become entangled or even be choked by these unnatural items.

If you realize that you're already doing all these things for birds in your backyard, you should be enjoying plenty of birds already! In that case, you may want to branch out beyond your backyard to find and care for a greater variety of birds.

On the other hand, if some or all of these ideas and suggestions are new to you, get ready for some real fun. Your yard is about to become as busy as a shopping mall on December 24.

What do you think? Tell us!

comments powered by Disqus

New On This Site

The Latest Comments

  • 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
  • New to birding...newbie question. We spotted what we thought was a Sapsucker at our patio feeders in December. The folks at our birding supply store told us that Sapsuckers are only here in Summer months and what we saw was a Flicker. I thought I new what a Flicker was and this did not look like a Flicker. It was thinner and more smooth looking but did have the Woodpecker Bill.
    by Edmund Steinman, Wed, 08 Jan 2020
  • We just signed up and get your magazine via email. Will we be receiving a printed copy?Ed [email protected]
    by Edmund Steinman, Wed, 08 Jan 2020