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Create Backyard Bird Habitat
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You Can Create a Backyard Bird Habitat

You Can Create a Backyard Bird Habitat

There may be no better or well received update that you can do to your yard then to include a bird habitat. Generally located in the backyard, away from traffic, noise and constant human interaction, a backyard bird habitat requires very little from you other than a supply of fresh water, a source of food and cover. Let’s take a look at how you can transform your yard into a welcome setting for your feathery friends.

1. Provide cover — Birds need a place to escape, to get out of the weather and to hide from predators. If your backyard is devoid of all plant life, then consider planting native shrubs, a tree or dense brush nearby. You’re more likely to attract birds if they sense that your yard is safe place to feed or sate their thirst. The Cornel Lab of Ornithology advises homeowners to grow native plants that provide fruit or seeds.

2. Set up feeders — You’ll attract birds with an available food source. Such foods typically include seed and can include suet. A bird field guide that describes birds that live or pass through your area can help you determine what birds you’ll want to attract and the foods that they like. Squirrels can be a big problem, so choose a bird feeder with a baffler, placing these feeders so that squirrels cannot climb or leap onto the feeders. Choose safflower seed to reduce squirrel involvement, a seed that most squirrels find repulsive. You should clean and disinfect feeders from time to time to eliminate disease.

3. Establish a water source — Water attracts birds, but not every water source is sufficient. A shallow birdbath, no deeper than three inches, will draw in birds — consider placing one closer to the ground to give the appearance of a pond. Clean out the birdbath every day or two to clear it of contamination, to thwart algae growth and to prevent mosquitoes from making a home. Running water attracts birds too, so if you’re considering building a shallow pond, you’ll have a different source for supplying water to quench a bird’s thirst and for bathing.

4. Nest boxes and material — Birds will usually seek out their own nesting sites to set up a home, if available. By building nests nearby, you’ll see your feathery friends frequent your bird feeder and bath. Single-compartment nest boxes that you build can help out too especially for yards where tree cavities or nesting locations are limited. Sufficient material for building nests such as yarn, string, pine needles, human or animal hair and bark strips are the kinds of nest materials that birds will seek out.

When should you start your habitat? Most anytime! However, if you experience harsh winters, you’ll have trouble keeping a water source unfrozen unless you install a bird bath heater. Wait ’til warmer weather arrives to plant shrubs, bushes and trees.