Fall Newsletter with Easy Tips for Resident Birds August 09 2015
Leave it for birds!
10 easy ideas for resident fliers
Shorter days is why they leave
The frenzy around feeders may have passed for most migrating hummingbirds, but some still linger. Leave a feeder out, fresh and filled for stragglers further north. Nectar can be stronger during migration (1:3 sugar to water) as extra calories serve tiny sprites well for their long and arduous journey south!
It's a total myth that leaving feeders up keeps birds from leaving. Ross Hawkins, president of the Hummingbird Society suggests leaving at least one feeder out until freezing becomes a problem. Until next year little friends ~ we wish you safe passage!
Cooler weather makes outdoor work pleasant
Offer inviting digs for resident birds like chickadees, bluebirds, wrens, nuthatches, woodpeckers, titmice and others with places to roost, some good chow and fresh water. Leave birdhouses up! Remove nests and old materials to offer swell roosting spots for cold nights. Leave the leaves and strewn branches in a corner of the yard to offer shelter and forage. Brush piles are great spots to hide from predators and inclement weather, plus caterpillars will over-winter in them too. Give feeders a good cleaning and repair if necessary.
Consider offering one new kind of food for the tough winter ahead! Choice foods for winter include sunflower, suet, nuts, mealworms, and natural
sources like berries from shrubs. Got pokeweed? Leave it for bluebirds, waxwings and cat birds. Resist the urge to dead-head flowers too, zinnias, sunflowers, cosmos and other withering annuals offer food into late fall for many desirable songbirds.
Got plans to plant?
Keep birds in mind for shelter and natural food sources with bayberry, hollies and beauty berry that produce a feast in fall through early winter. Evergreens are a wise investment in the landscape offering critical cover for birds year-round, especially when they tend to gather around feeders.
Baffles looking shabby?
Amazing what a coat of outdoor spray paint will do! Remove baffles for a quick scrub under the hose, let dry and spray a new coat of color... they'll look brand new!
Entice Resident Birds with Welcoming Digs
Birdhouses for roosting, one new kind of food and a heated water source for winter! Add a heater to an existing bird bath and it promises to be a hot spot (no pun intended) around your yard. Fresh water is always the most effective way to entice avian amigos and keep them around! Especially in winter, when natural sources like shallow ponds and puddles tend to freeze over, birds require a water source. Eating snow is difficult,
the process wastes valuable energy (calories) used to help keep them warm.
Choice Foods for Winter Feeding
Suet and peanuts pack a real punch for nutrition! Offer resident birds sustenance through frigid months with these easy, no mess foods. If you never have in the past, try your hand at home-made suet. It's pretty simple, economical, and birds love it. Check out the easy recipe for Bluebird Banquet, warblers, titmice and others will partake, and it mixes up in large batches to store in the fridge or freezer. Versatile too, for platforms or tray feeders, or form into balls or suet cakes.
The Fall List:
- Leave up one hummingbird feeder
- Leave the leaves & create a brush pile in the corner of the yard
- Clean out birdhouses to provide roosting spots through winter
- Give feeders a good cleaning and consider offering one new type of food
- Try your own suet
- Plant with birds in mind, natural food sources and cover
- Try peanut butter straight up on a tree trunk
- Prevent window crashes easily
- Clean baffles and apply a new coat of spray paint
- Offer a heated water source with a bath heater in your existing birdbath
- Offer home-made nest materials for those who line their roosts. Pet hair, decorative mosses and feathers are perfect, use a suet cage to set them out for birds