With hectic holidays behind, we hope yours were most joyous and that you received everything on your list. And because today is actually National Bird Day… we found the tweet below to be spot-on!
What is about feeding birds that folks find so magical? It’s a chore at times to trudge through snow, to keep bird feeders clean or to scoop out wet mushy seed after rain. But we do it… for the birds. Or so, we convince ourselves it’s for the birds!
Why is National Bird Day even on the calendar? The hobby has blossomed into a national past-time with more folks than ever partaking. For varied reasons behind wanting to attract backyard birds, it’s a calming, peaceful, simple yet wondrous joy that abounds when focused on watching. Not to mention the 23rd annual Great Backyard Bird Count and becoming a part of citizen science. More on that in our next post!
Rewarding beyond explanation… that’s the fun part. Just ask a bluebird landlord or purple martin enthusiast who’s witnessed successful fledglings. Or the person who’s just experienced a first hummingbird close-up. Simply mesmerizing might be an understatement.
In part, like gardening (which goes hand-in-hand with creating suitable habitat) it might be the promise of tomorrow. We feed birds partly in hopes of enticing them to nest in our yards and to watch their families thrive. We know their natural habitats are shrinking, so it becomes a feel-good kind of endeavor.
The other part is that simple connection to nature. It’s universal; unplugged, uncluttered, sans the daily chaos. A simple state of zen for many folks, stealing a few moments to watch feathered friends flit around the yard might be the most relaxing part of the day!
So keep this in mind when stumped for an awesome and useful gift that’s long-lasting. And not just for holidays or birthdays… unique bird feeders will “offer solace in times of grief”. That’s a direct quote from a customer review, the recipient was comforted by a most thoughtful gift with the ability to bring true joy. It’s also where “cardinals appear when angels are near” came from as well as the belief that hummingbirds might just be angels!
A brisk 30 degrees in Atlanta this morning, but you can bet we were up & out early… filling the bird feeders!
Wishing you a birdie happy & healthy new year!
Recently published by Cornell Lab of Ornithology was a pretty amazing and eye-opening article about the disappearance of birds. Audubon was on board way back in in 2013 with “Why Birds Matter” on their cover- and today’s email “Climate Change Pushes Birds to the Brink”. Research by the Journal Science confirms statistics. It’s all quite alarming though meant more as a wake-up call because birds really do tell us about climate.
A link to the article appears at the end of this post and well worth a few minutes to read! Graphics are superior and the comments prove most interesting. In short, here’s 7 easy ways to help birds… beyond the obvious bird feeders. Politics aside- whether you believe in climate change or not, humanity is choking… on plastic, on pesticides, on itself. There’s clear and simple suggestions to do any of these tasks in the article link below.
- Make Windows Safe
- Keep Cats Indoors
- Plant Native- Reduce Lawns (great website for your zip code)
- Avoid Pesticides
- Switch Coffee to Shade Grown
- Reduce Plastics
- Citizen Science Watch Birds & Share Observations
A few noteworthy fall birding tips:
Leave a hummingbird feeder up even though your guys may have split! The Hummingbird Society strongly recommends this as it’s a total myth your feeders will cause them to stay. Lots of sightings further north (in mid-October) and most of these stragglers are juveniles and females who require calories for southern migration. Most of summer’s nectar producing flowers have since withered. Keep your hummingbird feeder fresh and full.
When raking leaves and fallen branches… leave a small pile in the back or corner of your yard. Brush piles offer both forage and shelter for birds.
Consider a birdbath heater this year, just add to your existing bath instead of storing it for winter. Always keep fresh water accessible as some birds will never touch your bird feeders or birdhouses!
Copy this URL in your address bar… it’s absolutely worth a look!!
Happy Fall Birding!
Birds Favorites… for Beating Summer Sizzle!
It may not even be a bird feeder at all, but actually your bird bath! Moving water stays fresher and it’s ideal for all birds, in the garden with or without the birdbath! Solar bubblers and fountains, leaf misters, water wigglers or drippers benefit both hosts and birds by preventing stagnant water. Birds who may not visit feeders will flock to gently moving water for a sip, dip and cleanliness.
Whether birds stay or go (resident vs. migratory)… hydration and clean feathers are a must for all feathered friends!
With versatile and easy ways to use them, you can place a mister right in the garden for leaf-bathing, over a bird bath, attached to a branch or even a simple plant stake.
Mesmerizing Migration: Watch 118 Bird Species Migrate Across a Map of the Western Hemisphere (courtesy Cornell Lab)
Migrations are exciting times for backyard birders and feathered friends. In fall migratory birds are returning to their summer breeding grounds, but don’t forget resident birds who brave our harsh winters.
Keep Resident Birds Around!
Cardinals, bluebirds, chickadees, nuthatches, finches and others benefit greatly from native shrubs and trees. Heated birdbaths, seed, suet & peanut bird feeders plus roosting spots really do help them survive cold weather.
While temps are cooling and it’s prime time for planting, remember that native plants require less maintenance… so do keep birds in mind whenever possible! A few suggestions? Take a peek at this great article (with pics) from American Bird Conservancy. https://abcbirds.org/blog/native-trees-shrubs-attract-birds
Carb-Loading Hummingbirds and Orioles
Keep feeders fresh and full for those headed south to Central and South America… it’s a very long flight! Migrating birds face a difficult journey ahead and many won’t survive the trip. Every calorie gained and stored for energy is crucial. Think nectar and jelly feeders here.
Bullies: Reduce territorial scuffles among tiny sprites with additional smaller feeders. If you’ve purchased the Triple Orb (or thinking about it) separate the feeders to make it easier for more birds to feed. Remove these lids for winter use and entice resident birds with meal worms, suet, shelled peanuts and more!
Ants: Simply use an ant moat to end this headache! One ant spoils a whole feeder full of fresh nectar 🙁
Bees: They can make it impossible for hummingbirds to feed… but they gotta eat too! Simply offer them food away from hummingbird feeders. This summer we’ve found that jelly works great! Use in a small hanging dish feeder; bees, yellow-jackets and wasps have steered clear of hummingbirds feeders in favor of jelly!
Nectar Aid is back and it changes your game – no excuses now for not making your own nectar! It’s the fastest and easiest way without measuring or utensils. Mix it, heat it if preferred (to quickly dissolve sugar) and store it all in the same pitcher.
1:4 Ratio (sugar to water)
Pure Cane Sugar Only! Raw and brown sugar contain high iron levels which may be dangerous for hummingbirds’ delicate systems. Hey, we believe the sprites prefer home made over commercial mixes anyway!
Still Getting Bugged?
Pesticides and chemicals are just passe’- they’re bad for everyone & everything. Your outdoor gatherings can be bug-free with natural citronella coils. Long burn time and fun to use… they deter flies, gnats and mosquitoes naturally!