CHAPTER 1: Getting Started
It’s not tough to turn your backyard into a songbird haven; there are just a few key steps to take in preparation. We’ll get more in-depth on these items as you continue through each chapter, to get started though you’ll want to keep the following in mind.
- 1. Learn which birds are common in your region.
- This could mean native birds, or birds that pass through your area during migration. Knowing which birds to expect will help you to better prepare for the food, shelter and nesting needs of your specific bird population.
- 2. Prepare your backyard.
- Your landscaping plan shouldn’t be limited to aesthetics. Birds are more likely to be drawn to yards that have the plants, trees, food, water, shelter and nesting sites they prefer. To attract your favorite songbirds, learn about their specific preferences.
- 3. Plan your menu.
- Just like people, birds have their own dietary preferences. Once you’ve figured out which birds are in your area, you can determine what kind of food they need. This can include seeds, nuts and fruits among other things. Keep your feeders stocked at all times to maintain a reliable food source.
- 4. Keep things clean.
- One of the most important things you can do for your backyard birds is to keep feeders, waterers and bird baths clean. Regular cleaning helps to prevent mold and mildew from forming and keeps your birds healthy by preventing the spread of disease.
- 5. Reduce predatory dangers.
- It is estimated that cats kill millions of birds every year. If you live in an area with lots of strays or if you have outdoor cats, avoid placing food and water where predators can easily attack birds while they dine.
- 6. Avoid chemicals.
- The common chemicals to attack pests around your home can also be harmful to your feathered friends. Avoid using pesticides, herbicides, insecticides and other dangerous chemicals near the areas where birds bathe, feed or nest.
- 7. Remove obstacles.
- Collisions can be very damaging or even fatal to birds. Windows are usually the biggest culprit of a collision. Feeders and waterers should be placed within three feet or more than 30 feet away from windows to reduce window strikes at top flying speed. Additionally, you can try adding reflective decals to windows to make them stand out.
- 8. Enjoy!
- Ultimately, the reason to attract songbirds to your backyard is to enjoy the experience. After you’ve done everything else, sit back and appreciate their colors, songs and activities.
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