One thing about birds that I took away from the tour was that I would really like to encourage their presence in my yard, and now is the time to prepare some cozy nesting spots for them. Our yard already has some birdhouses (pictured above), but my husband has also helped the girls to make some fun and colorful birdhouses which would make our bird watching so much more personal for Ana and Addie.
Why Attract Birds?
There are many reason to attract birds to your yard. Birds are great at controlling pests, and they eat aphids and other bugs that are not beneficial to our gardens. The garden will also benefit from nectar drinking birds that provide pollination. In addition, watching birds is fun, relaxing, and educational. I have already learned to recognize calls from a few birds, and my daughters have learned to name several birds. We are not the only ones who benefit though, private property accounts for about 80% of habitat for birds. Making places on your property for birds to nest, eat, and bathe certainly makes it easier for birds to survive despite huge amounts of land turning residential. (For more details check this site.)
Tips for Attracting Birds
The bird expert who I had the pleasure of meeting gave some great tips for attracting birds this season:
- Have your birdhouses out by the end of March.
- Use suet cages or a mesh produce bag to hold pet hair and small pieces of yarn for birds to use in their nests.
- Hang your birdhouses in pairs.
- Hang feeders during the winter months when plants and bugs are scarce.
Make a Treat for Birds
- Empty toilet paper rolls
- Peanut butter
- Use the knife to cover the toilet paper roll in peanut butter.
- Roll the covered rolls in birdseed.
- Cut lengths of yard long enough to create loops to hang the roll by (roughly a foot and a half- no need to measure.)
- Put the end of the yard through the toilet paper roll, and tie the two ends together to form a loop.
- Hang the treats on tree branches in your yard.
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