In most parts of the U.S. warm weather is calling people outdoors to their backyards and patios. During the Covid pandemic, remodeling became a top activity for many families. The trend in family bonding doesn’t seem to be slowing down as many have found they enjoy the slower pace of life brought on by a challenging year.
An enjoyable activity for the entire family is building a bird habitat in your backyard. This can be done on a small scale or by investing some time and resources. You are in control of how big the project will be. The benefits of having your own bird habitat are many. It draws you out in nature, it’s educational for the whole family and watching native birds play and sing has a calming effect and relieves stress. Your habitat will benefit birds by providing water, food and shelter. Each bird has an important role in nature and by assisting them you are aiding the environment.
Install a Bird Feeder
The simplest way to begin a bird habitat is to put up a bird feeder. There are many feeders to choose from depending on the food you want to use and which birds you want to attract. Installing several types of feeders will bring more birds to the habitat.
Select Proper Birdseed and Food
For most species, mixed bird seed with sunflower seeds, corn kernels, nuts and small seeds works well. One tip to help with the expense of bird seed is mixing an expensive bag with a cheaper brand. It will save money and last longer. Some feeders will come with specific instructions for food use. When you first install your feeders, it is best to go with basic, good quality seed that covers a variety of birds. As you see what species live in your habitat, you can choose foods for the birds you want to feed or attract.
Provide a Water Source
Adding a water source in addition to feeders will draw birds to your backyard habitat. There are a number of options for water sources, some easy and some more involved. The simplest is a birth bath. You can use a hanging one or one on a pedestal. They should be shallow and away from plants. Another excellent option is solar powered fountains. You can also get a programmable yard sprinkler system that includes misters for the bird area.
Landscape to Attract Birds
It is best to use native plants for your bird habitat. You want to provide plants, shrubs and trees that will be a natural habitat for the birds. A yard filled with native trees and plants will make your property a homey, friendly spot for birds. It’s a plus that natural landscaping with native vegetation is beautiful to humans as well as birds.
To prevent birds from becoming sick from the feeders, it is important to wash the feeders weekly if possible, using a bleach and water solution. Rake left over feed away from the habitat keeping field mice and other rodents from using it as their nightly snack. Store the bird feed safely to keep out any mold. If you find that your feeders become crowded with birds, you may want to put up a few more.
Creating a bird habitat in your backyard will be fun for the whole family. It is your decision whether to start out simple or to grow it with the possibility of more birds visiting. It will bring varied species for you to enjoy and it is good for the birds, when properly cared for on a regular basis. Before you know it, your habitat will be up and running and you will need a bird guide to identify your new visitors.