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)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Don't Toss Those Egg Shells--Give Them to Your Wild Birds!

Birds Need Calcium Just Like Humans


Chicken Egg Shells that have been rinsed and dried.
This important mineral is essential for normal bone growth, muscle, nerve and brain function.  Low levels of calcium in a female's body can lead to problems as the eggs form.  This deficiency can also lead to smaller clutches, beak deformities and other skeletal problems.  Spring is a critical time for sufficient calcium in a female bird's body.  Also, as her newly-hatched baby birds begin to develop, they need the calcium for growth spurts.  Powerful flight muscles develop well when enough dietary calcium is present.

But as my wonderful blue jays can attest, autumn is a time when calcium reserves need to be at the ready.  I regularly add my egg shells to my wheelbarrow herbgarden, and have spied at least 6 blue jays taking turns grabbing the egg shells from that garden!  I'm guessing they need the calcium to fortify them for the colder months. I know that blue jays love to rob eggs from other birds' nests; perhaps they thought that it was just a huge 'nest' full of eggs!

WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO PREPARE EGGS:
It helps if you put a kitchen towel under the baggie.  Some tiny small pieces may pop through the bag!

  • Zip-type baggie
  • Rolling pin
  • Kitchen towel
  • Empty, dry chicken eggs


HOW TO PREPARE CHICKEN EGG SHELLS TO GIVE TO WILD BIRDS:


  1. Rinse each egg shell inside, then set aside to dry.
  2. Once the egg shells are dry, add them to a large plastic zip bag.
  3. Use a rolling pin to crush the egg shells, turning the bag over several times.  You're looking for tiny pieces the birds can easily ingest.
  4. Store the baggie in the fridge until you are ready to serve the shells to your birds.
Crushed egg shells are now ready to give to your wild birds.


Here's a quick video from youtube.com/user/SmellLikeDirt, which also shows how to easily prepare the egg shells for your wild birds.  
http://youtu.be/GiNRNw7yfE8

The shells can be added to a platform or tray-type feeder.  

If you like scrambled eggs, hard-boiled, or even eggs over easy, remember your wild birds this spring.  Cook an egg for them.  Chop up the egg and add some of your crushed shells to the mixture, then stand back and enjoy watching the birds gobble them up!  You will be ensuring that the next generation of backyard birds has enough calcium, as well as protein, to start out right.

Grandma Pearl
Want more fun ideas for helping your backyard birds?  Check out Pearl's Backporch Scrapbook
Free Bird Identification Apps
Fun Homemade Bird Treat Recipes
How to Make a Bird Nesting Ball!

4 comments:

Shauna said...

Great information Connie. I'm off to check out some of the links you've included in this post. I hope you're staying warm!

Connie Smith said...

Hi Shauna, Fortunately, we've had a little bit of a "January Thaw" in February! It is welcome for sure.

Betsy said...

Wow - I never knew that birds ate eggshells! Thanks for the tip, Connie!

Connie Smith said...

Betsy,
Eggshells are a welcome addition to a bird's diet, especially in the spring. Their calcium reserves are low and need replenishing. Thanks for stopping by!