Encourage birds to nest in your yard by offering them a good variety of nesting materials. Simple things you may likely already have around your home are fantastic, items which birds will use for nest building.
Got a pet? Cat and dog hair are some favorites, as are feathers, and decorative mosses. Spanish moss, sphagnum moss, raffia and aspen fiber are perfect nesting materials birds will go for! Brightly colored cotton yarns add to the mixture also helps grab their attention. One of the tricks is to have your nesting materials out before the nesting season begins, and in plain view where birds will easily see them.
Lots of kits and fun holders are available for wild bird nesting materials. The Birdie Bell shown here actually does triple duty. It will hold fruit in summer for the more exotic, migratory birds, and seed bells or suet in winter to help sustain your regular crew. Come spring, simply fill the bell with nesting material. An item like this with year round usage is a good value. But truth be told… you can use a simple suet cage to offer nesting materials as well. Even the mesh produce bags from the grocery store (like the kind apples come in) will effectively hold nesting materials that birds can access.
So aside from the birdhouses and feeders, be sure there is a fresh water source too. Be it a creek or bird bath, all species of wild birds are drawn to water. And don’t forget: start gathering materials now that will entice feathered friends to take up residence! Happy Birding!
Water is an optimal choice, the smallest of birdbaths will entice birds…they love a consistent fresh water source. The bath need not be large or fancy either. Something as simple as a plant saucer on an upturned pot works quite well. Just keep the bath clean and the water fresh.
Another great option is window bird feeders. Plenty of styles are available, from trays or platforms, tube styles and hoppers, like the one shown here. The Canopy Window Bird Feeder adds a bit of charm with its cedar roof and tray. The overhang helps keep seed fresh, while the tray provides perching space for birds. It will accommodate most seed mixes, attracting a wide variety of birds.
Even in apartments, if you have a balcony, you can entice wild birds and bring yourself a bit close to nature!
Filling the nyjer feeder for them every few days can really start to become a chore. Some feeders claim to be large capacity feeders – but really aren’t. This one is definitely a large capacity feeder, holding seven pounds of nyjer seed (more commonly called thistle).
Now seven pounds may not sound like much when thinking of volume, but thistle is a tiny grain-like seed, and seven pounds in a feeder is a lot.
Pine Siskins and Red Polls also visit nyjer feeders, and our Goldfinches are even eating suet in this frigid weather.
Help birds thrive during cold weather by offering a few staples that will serve them well in winter. Thistle, suet and sunflower seed are a few good options. Water is also extremely important, especially when birds’ usual sources (like shallow ponds) tend to freeze. A heater in your birdbath will also be a welcome sign to entice many feathered friends. Happy Birding!