Welcome to my Bird Blog!

Welcome to all my fellow bird lovers and gardeners! I'm so glad you stopped by.

Migratory bird populations have taken a nose dive in the past 40 years. But you can help bring their numbers back by creating beneficial, beautiful and fun habitats in your own backyard. Discover favorite plants and environments that shelter and feed colorful songbirds, as well as how to make them feel welcome by offering their preferred natural foods.

Grandma Pearl
(Connie Smith)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

7 Fun Fall Bird Feeding Tips

Birds start gathering food in the fall.
from Grandma Pearl
Did you know that your backyard birds like to start gathering food for winter during the autumn months?  If you don’t feed birds year round, fall is a great time to set up your bird feeding station.  Birds like Blue Jays stash seeds just as chipmunks and squirrels do.  Science has shown that they also have excellent memories, and have demonstrated their skill at locating their hidden treasures all winter long.  Nuthatches and woodpeckers are some of the many birds that hide food for later consumption.

Nuthatch is waiting its turn at the feeders.
by Grandma Pearl

  1. Correct placement of your feeders will insure your birds do not crash into your windows.  Sadly, approximately one billion birds die in the U.S. each year from glass window and door collisions.  The best way to prevent fatal collisions is to place your feeders within 3 feet, or more than 30 feet, from windows. Placing your bird feeders that close to glass ensures birds do not have room to gain a lot of speed, greatly reducing the number of fatal collisions.
It also gives you a great view of their antics and interactions with other birds.  Besides being very entertaining, studies have shown that bird watching can reduce stress and lower blood pressure.  Next time you need a time out, try watching your backyard birds.  You will be amazed at the calming affects bird watching can produce.

  1. Another great tip is to locate your feeder about 3 to 5 feet from a large shrub.  This gives your birds plenty of opportunity for perching while waiting their turn at the feeder.  Birds will also use the branches as leverage to help them open the seeds, which will not hurt the shrubs at all.  Bushes can be evergreen or deciduous, and they will provide shelter from winter winds and snow, as well as predators.  A feeder placed near a shrub helps birds feel more secure, and gives them a place to ‘hang out’ and socialize.
  2. When the nights turn colder in the fall I begin hanging suet for my birds to enjoy.  It helps them to store fat for the upcoming winter months.  That extra layer of fat makes a great deal of difference in how well they survive frigid temperatures.  If your weather is still warm during the day, choose ‘no-melt’ suet cakes.
  3. I like to use peanut butter combined with cornmeal to smear on pine cones.  Hang the cones on tree limbs and enjoy watching your birds savor this very helpful treat.  Besides helping birds stay warm, food sources that contain high fat concentrations also help maintain birds’ feathers in optimum condition for flying and evading possible predators.
Make a loop of wire around the top row of scales on the pine cone, then add peanut butter.
by Grandma Pearl

High-fat Food Sources Include:
  • Peanut Butter
  • Suet
  • Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
  • Peanuts
  • Walnuts, broken into small pieces

  1. When you are out shopping for pumpkins and gourds, remember your birds.  They enjoy gleaning the seeds from inside these vegetables.  To give them easy access to the seeds, use a sharp knife to cut a rectangular hole in the front and back of the pumpkin.  By the way, Northern Cardinals are nuts about pumpkin seeds!
Northern Cardinals Love Pumpkin Seeds!
by Grandma Pearl

Place on a flat platform feeder so your backyard visitors can enjoy all the pumpkin innards!  Once they have cleaned out the pumpkins seeds, you can remove any excess strings and add sunflower seeds, cracked corn and any other bird goodies you have to offer. 
  1.  Gourds can be hung by drilling a hole in the neck of the gourd and inserting a piece of leather shoe lace or thin rope.  Cut a round hole in the front of the gourd, about 2” from the bottom of the vegetable, for birds to enter and find any meat and seeds.  Again, once the gourd is cleaned out, you can add sunflower seeds, dried fruit pieces or nutmeats. 
  2. Be sure to have a camera on hand to snap some fun pictures of your feathered friends enjoying their autumn bounty.  It’s a great way to get your child or grandchild interested in a fun and educational hobby.  Start a scrapbook to include pictures they have taken, articles about birds, bird feathers they have gathered, and notes on their favorite bird or birds.
Young Goldfinches exchanging greetings?
by Grandma Pearl

Autumn is such a colorful and wonderful season.  Make sure your backyard birds are included in the fun, and you will be rewarded with their songs and visits all winter long.

Grandma Pearl

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