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Bluebirds are already nesting but it's not too late to lure these family-oriented birds to your place! Although they're some of the first to nest, bluebirds typically brood 2 to 3 clutches per season. There's sheer delight in watching juveniles from a first brood help parents feed and raise new siblings.
Housing, Food & Water From the Gilbertson Nest Box, it's North American Bluebird Society Approved (NABS) - to a Copper Roof Bluebird House, it should be placed at a 5-6 ft. height, in an open area with perching spots nearby. Whether fencing or a tree line, perches provide bluebirds adequate hunting spots to catch insects. Houses may be hung, though an open area is still best suited. Be sure to remove nests after each brood has fledged! Check out more great housing for chickadees, warblers, titmice, nuthatches and more!
Feeding Bluebirds is not a necessity, but it sure does entice and keep them around. Live mealworms are their favorite, and we promise you'll warm up to the wiggly things after a while too! Since all birds covet live worms, it's best to place them in a traditional (enclosed type) feeder so they don't disappear as quickly. Dried worms are always an option for the faint of heart! Both live and dried mealworms worms are available in economical bulk quantities.
But Some Birds Don't Use Birdhouses
Cardinals, Goldfinches, Robins, Hummingbirds, Swallows and others aren't considered "cavity-dwellers".
While most of these birds build nests in trees and shrubs, some will utilize nesting pockets, nest cups or nest shelves to raise their young.
You can still encourage bluebirds and others to take up residence by offering a welcoming habitat! Places to nest, fresh water and food sources are the staples to lure and keep them coming back.
53 Times per Second their wings flap... hummingbirds have already arrived in the gulf states, and if they were happy with your accommodations last season, you can bet they'll back! It's called Site Fidelity, and the key is having feeders filled and ready before they arrive.
If you don't already, vow to make your own nectar this season! It's fast, simple and we think hummingbirds like it better... no red dye needed.
1 cup plain table sugar
4 cups water... that's it!
We boil 1 cup of water just to dissolve sugar more effectively. Store unused nectar in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Whether feeders are staked or hanging matters not - it's freshness that counts. Changing nectar every few days in summer is required when temps start to rise. And should ants become a problem around the sweet sticky stuff, ant moats and baffles on stakes will keep the pests at bay. A dab of petroleum jelly on the hanger itself may also do the trick just fine!
Encourage hummingbirds to nest with the only material that's endorsed by The Hummingbird Society. The Hummer Helper Nesting Kit will actually attract more sprites to your feeders once fledgelings learn to fly and feed! Natural food sources are another excellent way to attract many migratory birds and butterflies. Check out these suggested plantings to Attract Hummingbirds.
Care for an Orange?
Search high up in the trees when looking for orioles, as they're most often seen hunting for insects at tree tops' foliage. You can't miss their distinctive chatter, it's unlike any other birds' in your yard! Noisy nestlings may even alert you to a nest high above eye level.
Orioles love oranges and grape jelly, and unlike birdseed you can get more creative when offering these food sources. A suet cage works well for orange slices, as do most staked fruit feeders. In a mad rush to get jelly out last year, we recently discovered that a small hanging glass votive work great for jelly! Woodpeckers, warblers and robins like grape jelly too and many folks offer it year-round.
Nesting material may also encourage orioles to construct their miraculously woven suspended nests in your yard, and horse hair is one of their favorites. Just so happens that horse hair (direct from our farm) is always included with your free nesting materials! A standard suet cage, or the mesh produce bags from the grocery store both work well for offering them.
Orioles like nectar too, and may be spotted at hummingbird feeders, but why not offer their own if trying to attract them? Placed a little further out, near a tree line to lure them in at first, you can move feeders closer to the patio or house once orioles have discovered the food source. Be ready for these mesmerizing visitors with fruit & jelly feeders in place prior to their arrival.
Beer for Butterflies? Definitely! A shallow plate with a mixture of molasses and beer, topped with banana slices is the ultimate treat for these winged wonders. And the staked fruit feeders work for them too. Speaking of oranges, butterflies snack on them, as well as sweet sugary nectar.
Habitat is crucial for attracting the gems, and gardens should include both nectar producing flowers (that bloom from the start of the season through fall) and host plants for their metamorphosis. But first and foremost on the list is to quit using pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides!
Butterflies adore leaf misters too, and you'll see constant activity in the garden around one of these! Wrapped around a simple plant stake allows for easy relocation should the ground become too saturated. Butterflies always appreciate a spot to warm themselves in the sun, and a large heat-absorbing rock suits them perfectly.
Nectar feeders should have a wick or sponge to absorb liquid, as butterflies won't drink from an open source. They use their antennae (or probosces) to draw nectar like they do from flowers naturally. Check out this short clip for an easy list of nectar and host plants for butterflies, then sit back and enjoy the show!
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Welcome Spring and Happy Birding!