Every spring and fall we offer suggestions about how to make your yard and community a place birds and other wildlife can flourish. By now we all know the basics – Keep it wild – but naturally so – without invasives! Use native plants that provide year-round food and shelter in layers Use […]
Watching birds in your backyard can be enormously satisfying. Plus, a well maintained bird-friendly backyard creates a much-needed habitat which is very important for birds – whether they are migrating through, nesting or year-round residents. Focusing on how to make your yard attractive to birds will help them and they will return the favor by making your yard part of their routine and a great place to watch them. We have articles to help with feeding, nesting safety, landscaping with native plants, DIY projects and many other ideas which can make your backyard a haven for birds, and help you conserve wildlife on your own patch. We want you to have a great bird habitat in your yard, so please let us know if there are topics you are interested in knowing more about.
Are Squirrels Driving You Nuts?
Yes, that is a squirrel arcing across the sky in the image above. In fact, she is trying to get to some corn and is being forced to skydive to do it, but more on that later. After several conversations with people who feed birds and are constantly doing battle with squirrels, I began […]
Join The 2023 Great Backyard Bird Count!
Watching birds and reporting what you see during the annual Great Backyard Bird Count is a great reason to get outside in winter! Each February, Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society ask people to spend at least 15 minutes over a 4-day period to watch birds and report every bird they see. […]
The Odd Tongues of Woodpeckers
When you think about woodpeckers, it is likely their tongues aren’t the first thing that comes to mind. But their tongues can reach up to 1/3 of their body length! They are also very specialized and serve several purposes – at least one of which might really surprise you. With a tongue that long, the […]
Fall Cleanup for a Healthy and Bird-friendly Yard
How about a relaxing cleanup this fall? Instead of raking up all those leaves and trimming off berries and old flowers during your fall clean-up, do yourself, birds, bees, and butterflies a big favor by doing less. With significant amounts of native habitat loss, our backyards and gardens have become essential habitats supporting all kinds […]
Homegrown National Park
What can I do to make a difference in the face of climate change and environmental losses? If you’ve ever asked that question, you are already searching for solutions. There are many things we can do, but how about doing something which provides beauty and added value to your property while having a material […]
Protecting Birds from Lanternfly Traps
In many states, the invasive Spotted Lanternfly is becoming a serious problem to our trees and orchards, and people are being asked to eliminate them. Unfortunately one of the popular ways to do this is by using glue traps and sticky tapes which don’t target just this one insect but will also readily trap birds, […]
Safety First! Attracting Owls to Your Backyard
Who doesn’t love owls? Not only are they wonderful to see, but they also control the rodent population. And many owl species, like this Barred Owl, will use nest boxes. But they can be easily put in harm’s way if their welfare isn’t considered. This is the time of year to be getting nestboxes for owls out, […]
Got Mud? Put Up A Last Minute Nestbox
Lots of birds are starting to nest right now, and if you’re a little late to the game putting up a nest box, you may have missed your opportunity to provide a house for some birds. But if you are in Canada or the northern US, and act now, you’re right on time for […]
Backyard: Help Nuthatches Nest
Nuthatches – those intrepid little balls of energy that travel up and down and basically all around a tree are great birds to have nesting in your yard. They prefer dead trees where they excavate their own nesting holes, so keeping dead trees in the ground when safe and feasible is a life-saver for […]
Want More Birds? Let Them Control Insects
To keep your garden and yard safe for birds and provide the food they need, don’t use pesticides! A healthy garden is an ecosystem that is host to a lot of different insects from butterflies and caterpillars to spiders, aphids, and even mosquitos. All these insects are food that birds need and they make […]
The Right Seed Gets the Birds!
It’s winter and your feeder is stocked – with few takers. What’s going on? Arent all those birds out there freezing and need calories? If birds aren’t at your feeders in winter there could be a lot of reasons why that is happening, but one you can easily test and control is what food you are putting […]
Getting Your Garden Ready For Winter
It’s fall – what should you be doing with your garden? If you want your native plants and shrubs to thrive next spring and your garden to be a wildlife haven all winter, here are a few things to do now: 1 – Don’t clean up your yard! Clipping back the underbrush removes valuable hiding habitat […]
Help Birds on Migratory Bird Day
Want to help birds and have fun at the same time? Migratory Bird Day is October 9 – it’s also a Big Day – when birdwatchers around the globe go birdwatching and submit their sightings on eBird. This gives the folks at Cornell Lab of Ornithology a snapshot of what birds are where around the world. It […]
The Case For Hummingbird Feeders
Everybody loves to watch hummingbirds at the feeder. But once their migration is underway, is it fair to keep the feeders up for them? Will they not migrate if there is easy food around? The primary food sources for hummingbirds are insects and flower nectar, and nothing really replaces those. But, hummingbirds require a lot […]
BirdNote: Song Sparrows In Your Brush Pile
For me, it’s officially spring when Song Sparrows start singing! Song Sparrows are found throughout the United States and into Southern Canada. To bring them into your garden, plant thick, low vegetation, or create a brush pile. This sparrow is celebrated – and named – for its singing. Without its melodious song, this furtive bird could be […]
Voices For Birds!
Birds are fun! Get psyched for birding with Birdlife International’s super fun video featuring birders from all over the world as the voices of their favorite birds. Take a break and watch – it’ll totally make your day… Image courtesy of Birdlife International
A Hummer Of a Backyard
One of the more spectacular of our migratory birds in the Americas, hummingbirds are found exclusively in the New World, making this a truly American bird. While most of the over 300 species of hummingbirds are found in Central and South America, around a dozen species of these tiny gems searching for food and shelter grace […]
Invite Tree Swallows to Nest in Your Yard
Tree Swallows are stunning iridescent-blue, fast-flying insectivores with bright white underparts. They are a delight to have around with their happy liquid calls resonating as they fly, and it’s a joy to watch them whisk through the air hawking for insects. In fall they migrate in enormous flocks numbering in the thousands. Even with gatherings like these, […]
Backyard Birds: A Home for Phoebe
Eastern Phoebes are welcome guests in any location. These dark brown and white flycatchers are great to have around for insect control and their “phee-bee” call is often an early harbinger of spring. From Maine through Kentucky, this active bird is in decline, so providing a nesting box would be a helpful addition to your backyard. Their nesting […]
How Many Birds Can You Find?
Give it your all February 12-15 in the Great Backyard Bird Count! Run by Cornell Lab of Ornithology, this annual bird count is a really fun way to help birds as birdwatchers around the world record all the birds they have seen on these 4 days into their eBird accounts so Cornell has a snapshot of bird […]
Make Your Own Vegetarian Suet
In cold weather, nothing gets most birds’ attention like suet! They need the calories and fat to keep their body temperature up when the insects they would be eating in warmer weather aren’t around. A good substitute in cold weather is yummy fatty suet. Making suet the old-fashioned way can be a greasy, messy […]
Make the ID: Downy vs Hairy Woodpecker
Two woodpeckers who look very much alike are busy inspecting tree bark around North America looking for food. Both look natty in their checkered plumage, but how to tell them apart? Beak Size: The most pronounced field mark is beak size. Downys have small beaks – almost unnaturally so, and Hairys have much larger thorn-like beaks. Size: Hairys […]
Keeping Birds Safe From Glass
Every year, in North America alone nearly 1 billion birds needlessly lose their lives by flying into windows they cannot see. During migration, the incidences increase as fast-moving birds intent on reaching their destination will see on the glass panes the reflections of the trees behind them. In an attempt to either fly through to reach […]
Be Prepared: How to Help Birds After a Fire
Devastating fires in North America and around the world have left surviving wildlife homeless and often without what they need to survive. If you live in an area where fires have taken their toll, you can help wildlife in a number of ways. Last January, amid the brushfires in Australia, we published the following article with […]
Go To Seed This Fall!
As summer drifts away and gives way to autumn, many of us want to clean up the yard and make it tidy for the coming winter. Neat and tidy is great for closets, but if you want to help birds out, just let it all go to seed – literally and figuratively! Birds are now facing the […]
Draw a Ruby-throated Hummingbird with David Sibley
You don’t need to go outside to get to know birds: Try drawing them instead. David Sibley, the ornithologist who wrote and illustrated The Sibley Guide to Birds, created a video for Audubon that shows how to sketch a Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Get out a piece of paper and a pencil or crayon and try it yourself! Check out […]
Why Are Birds So Quiet Now?
For months now, early every morning the songs and calls would Molting Northern Cardinal Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel start – sometimes before dawn – and the raucous, beautiful and energetic bird sounds from birds like Carolina Wrens and this Northern Cardinal continued filling the soundscape until sundown. Then one day….suddenly the yard was oddly quiet. While some juvenile birds were still […]
3 Billion Birds Gone – What Can I Do To Help?
If you are asking this question after reading about the study showing 3 billion birds are gone since 1970, you White-throated Sparrow Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel are not alone as the enormity of the numbers of birds lost is difficult to comprehend. Some of the hardest hit birds are ones we see most often – White-throated Sparrows, Red-winged Blackbirds, Eastern and Western […]
Helping Birds: Create Habitat For Them
Mature Native Plant Meadows in a Small Yard Having safe and undisturbed habitat is critical to keeping our birds and planet healthy. Research published last year by Cornell Lab of Ornithology showing 3 Billion Birds have been lost and the enormous impact this has had on bird populations over the past few decades cited habitat loss as the […]
City Birds You May Not Know Are Around You
Common Yellow-throat Illustration by David Sibley When cities are quiet, we can easily hear the birds around us. This illuminating article from the New York Times helps us learn about 13 birds we live in close proximity with but may never have seen. With stunning images by David Sibley and informational sonograms of bird calls from Donald Kroodsma, this article […]
Helping Birds: I Found a Baby Bird on the Ground!
Every year as hatching and fledging season gears up, we find baby birds in spots they don’t seem to belong, i.e. out of their nest. And they seem to look either helpless or lost – what can we do? Rescued House Finch Nestling Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel The answer to this question is based on […]
Stuff To Do With Kids: Make a Nesting Shelter for Robins
Stuff To Do With Kids: Make a Nesting Shelter for Robins American Robin on Nest Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel American Robins are wonderful birds to have in your yard. I can’t recall a time I didn’t have robins around, and even in the city where I live, there are robins in the garden behind my […]
Helping Birds: Plant Native Trees
Baltimore Oriole Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel What better way to be outside, productive, socially distanced and helping birds than gardening! Spring is here whether or not we are sheltering inside, and now is a great opportunity to make progress on your native plant garden. Being in nature benefits all of us, and when we are limited in what […]
Birdwatching During the Corona Virus
Birdwatching Solo Photo Credit: John Chao If you’re sheltering at home, or at the very least practicing social distancing – and especially if you live in an urban environment – getting outside to see spring migration may seem like a challenge at best. Migration is starting, and is it safe or even wise to go birding? It’s critical […]
BOOK REVIEW: Birdsong For The Curious Naturalist: Your Guide to Listening, by Donald Kroodsma
Released just as spring migration is starting, this timely book bringsunderstanding and learning birdsong to a new level. Don Kroodsma is a world-renown authority on birdsong. And apart from understanding it he knows the positive effect of an immersive nature experience. Birdsong For the Curious Naturalist opens with the line “birdsong fills our lives with beauty and […]
HOW TO HELP BIRDS: Create a Pollinator Habitat or B&B Highway
Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel Did you know that over 75% of all plants require pollination? And 30-40% of the food we eat is brought to us courtesy of pollinators? Bees, other insects, bats and birds provide this service for free. And it’s estimated the service they provide is worth over $200 billion. All pollinating […]
Do the Great Backyard Bird Count
Barred Owl Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel Get those binos out, invite your friends,and block 15 minutes of time during at least one day from February 14-17 – its time to participate in this year’s Great Backyard Bird Count! Join over 160,000 other people around the world taking the time to look for birds and report their findings to […]
Helping Birds: What To Do After a Fire
Helping Birds: What To Do After a Fire Kookaburra After Fire Photo Credit: Adam Stevenson/Reuters The dramatic images in the news of rampant bushfires in Australia are heartbreaking. Firefighters from Australia and around the world are working overtime to quench the flames in an attempt to save peoples homes and lives, and caringly rescue injured wildlife […]
Be Prepared: Practical Things You Can Do To Help Birds After Fires
A Guide to What to do to Help Birds After the Fires Our thanks to Birdlife Australia for publishing this enormously helpful and practical guide to helping birds and wildlife after a fire has struck. Fires occur in many countries, but the practical solutions in the aftermath are primarily the same regardless of where it […]
How Birds Survive the Winter
Hairy Woodpecker Photo Credit: Stan Tekeila It’s cold and windy outside, a heated birdbath offers relief to dehydrated birds, and the ever-growing brush pile I started a few years ago is getting a lot of use by birds darting inside to huddle and find respite. I am delighted that the little native plant meadow I planted four years […]
Making a Nesting Site for Great Horned Owls
Great Horned Owlets Photo Credit: Stan Tekeila One of the best ways to control rodentsis the old fashioned and completely non-toxic way – reliance on the hunting skills of owls. Some owls, like Great Horned Owls, are especially effective at this during nesting season and are often found in orchards or on farm woodlots. They will nest out in the open, […]
Fall Garden Cleanup….Or Not?
Song Sparrow in native plant meadow Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel Putting your garden to bed for the winter can mean clipping, raking and maybe throwing things out. But if you want to maintain your property for birds and wildlife, think first before you do any of these things, as birds and wildlife depend on what […]
Swirls of Tree Swallows
Migrating Tree Swallows Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel The mass migration of tens of thousands of Tree Swallows on the East Coast is a migration event I look forward to every year. It happens towards the end of September right along the coast. Sometimes the flocks are flying south low along the beach near the dunes – […]
3 Billion Birds Gone – What Can I Do To Help?
If you are asking this question after reading about the study showing 3 billions birds are gone since 1970, you White-throated Sparrow Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel are not alone as the enormity of the numbers of birds lost is difficult to comprehend. Some of the hardest hit birds are ones we see most often – White-throated Sparrows, Red-winged […]
Don’t Forget the Water!
Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel Fresh water for birds is important year round, and as the summer heats up, water is a priority. When temperatures soar, birds need fresh water to avoid dehydration, keep cool and bathe to keep their feathers in good shape. Fortunately, there are many different ways you can provide fresh water whether you have a […]
The Climate and Bird Friendly Garden Makeover
Our gardens and backyards have more impact than we realize. Monarch Butterflies on Native Plants Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel We expect them to provide beauty for us, and native plant gardens offer mini-habitats for birds, bees and other wildlife. Well planned gardens and backyards can make a difference in the populations of butterflies, nesting and […]
Uh Oh, I Found a Baby Bird – What Do I Do?
Northern Cardinal Fledgling Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel Nesting season’s most asked question is: “I found a baby bird on the ground – what do I do? ” Well, that’s not entirely scientific, but the question gets asked a lot right now! We expect to see baby birds in the nest being fed and cared for, but what […]
Special Nest Boxes for Tree Swallows and Bluebirds
Tree Swallow Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel Both species of beautiful blue birds rely on hard-to-find cavities or nest boxes to raise their families. And right now the race is on for available nesting spots. Tree Swallow populations are in decline in part because they need cavities or special boxes for safe nesting. Hear more about the […]
Make Your Backyard a Hummingbird Haven
Rufous-TailedHummingbird Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel All species of hummingbirds are found in the New World, making this a truly American bird. While most hummingbirds are found in Central and South America, some species of these tiny gems searching for food and shelter grace many a North American garden. If you are in an area where hummingbirds […]
Backyard Nest Boxes – Time to Get Started!
It’s not too early to prepare for the nesting birds you want to attract to your yard during nesting season. If you are interested in a DIY project, here’s one which helps Northern Flickers. Northern Flicker Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel Flickers are considered common birds, but are suffering a steep decline in population due to loss of habitat as dead trees […]
Berry-Important Bushes for Backyard Birds
Gray Catbird Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel It’s time to plan your spring gardening. Whether you are just starting a native plant garden or already have native plants in your yard, we have some ideas that can make your garden a bird magnet year round by providing food and shelter regardless of the season. Diversity is critical to providing the […]
Kestrels in My Backyard
Kestrels in My Backyard American Kestrel, Cuba Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel Nothing beats having a colorful Kestrel nesting in your yard. The smallest of the North American falcons, they are found throughout North America in open areas and grasslands, and adapt well to suburban areas. Kestrels eat insects as well as small birds and […]
Is Your Backyard Ready For Winter Birds?
Black-capped Chickadees/ Photo Credit: Stan Tekeila As temperatures drop, it’s time to winterize your backyard to make it a popular and safe place for birds. Birds need to stay warm and have adequate food and shelter during cold or stormy weather. What does your backyard provide? Here are some of the things you can provide for birds to […]
Attract Northern Saw Whet Owls to Your Yard
Northern Saw Whet Owl/Photo Credit: Stan Tekeila The smallest owl in North America is the tiny Northern Saw Whet Owl. A ferocious predator of mice and other small rodents, they are great birds to have around to help keep the mouse population under control. If you live in a forested area, you might consider putting up a nest box now […]
Removing Lawn for a New Backyard Habitat
Fall is an ideal time to get started on a new native plant garden or meadow or to add to an existing site. Plan the project size, remove the grass and get native plants into the ground now, and you will be rewarded by a spring garden which is already established and has a head start on the […]
Your Bird and Wildlife-Safe Backyard: Non-toxic Weed Killers
Monarch Butterflies Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel What’s good for birds is good for people. And this applies also to the products we use in our gardens. Keeping your garden safe for birds and other wildlife will also keep you and your neighbors safe from toxic chemicals which can enter the water system […]
Family Fun: Birdcrafts
One of the best ways to get kids interested in birds is to get them working on a fun bird project. Photo Credit: Melpo Apostolidou, BirdLife Cyprus Our friends at BirdLife International have some great ideas that kids can do themselves. And they can reap the reward of learning about and doing something to help birds. From making […]
In the News: Pesticide That Makes Birds Lose Their Way on Migration
Indigo Bunting Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel Its important to be gardening with organic fertilizers and pesticides, and to keep chemicals out of your bird-friendly backyard. If you find this difficult to do, be aware that some pesticides contain neonicotinoids – a type of neuro active synthetic insecticide chemically similar to nicotine – which affects much […]
A Safe Backyard For Nesting Birds
A Safe Backyard for Nesting Birds Northern Cardinal Fledgeling Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel Nesting season is upon us, and we are thinking about our backyard and gardens from the birds perspective. Here are few things the birds you are attracting right now will appreciate your doing for them! 1 – With baby […]
Take Action With Native Plants in Your Backyard
Take Action With Native Plants in Your Backyard! Native Plants are the focus for this month of the Year of the Bird. Rose-breasted Grosbeak Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel Perfect timing, as its time to start planning and planting for the spring! Whether you have a garden, backyard or urban outdoor space, birds rely on what […]
Complete Your Winter Backyard With a Roost Box
Complete Your Winter Backyard With a Roost Box Chickadee checking out a roost box Nest boxes and roost boxes are important components of a well-maintained bird-friendly backyard. In winter, birds really need shelter from cold, winds and predators. Leaving nest boxes up may help, but during really cold times, birds can best maintain their body […]
Vegetarian Suet Recipe
Vegetarian Suet Recipe Photo Credit: Stan Tekeila Everybody likes a little variety! Whether or not you are a vegetarian yourself, you may want to try this recipe for suet which doesn’t use animal fat. It has the nutrition birds need and birds seems to prefer this one to regular suet. And it lends itself […]
Join Nestwatch and Help Nesting Birds
Join Nestwatch and Help Nesting Birds Nobody knows better than you what goes on in the nests in your backyard. If you are curious about the birds nesting in your yard and pay particular attention to Photo Credit: Stan Tekeila them, Cornell Lab of Ornithology has a great project called Nestwatch that can use your […]
Winterizing Your Yard for Backyard Birds
Winterizing for Backyard Birds As cold weather begins, it’s time to make your backyard inviting for birds overwintering in your area. With some simple preparations you can have birds visiting and staying throughout the winter by creating a safe spot where they have enough to eat, get fresh water, Common Redpolls Photo Credit: Stan Tekeila and […]
Making Your Own Owl Nest Cone
Making Your Own Owl Nest Box It’s fall and owling will soon be part of winter outings! For now, Photo Credit: Cornell Lab of Ornithology though, it’s time to put up those owl nesting boxes or cones (yes, cones!), as owls will be interested in nesting soon and it’s a good idea to have the […]
Backyard Birds Need Water in Summer
Backyard Birds Need Water in the Summer One of the most important On a city roofdeck, the same birdbath works in summer, and heated in winter. Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel items in your backyard year round is clean, fresh water. When its really hot, birds are regularly in need of hydration, the ability […]
I Found a Baby Bird – What Do I Do?
OUR READERS ASK: I Found a Baby Bird, What Do I Do? During nesting season, baby birds may be found all over the place, and they often seem to need help. But do they? Some chicks fall out of the nest and really do need Northern Cardinal fledgling–he looked like he was in trouble, but […]
Making Your Windows Bird Friendly
Making Your Windows Bird-friendly Birds and glass are a deadly combination. We all know Photo credit: USFWS that sound – the thud of a bird hitting our plate glass window at high speed. We rush over and hope this one has not been knocked unconscious, or worse, had his neck broken. It’s estimated that over […]
Better Backyard for Nesting Birds
A Better Backyard for Nesting Birds American Goldfinch Family Photo Credit: Stan Tekeila It’s easy to start making your backyard even more attractive for birds by using native plants, water features and other new additions. But nesting birds have an even more specific set of needs and you can easily make sure the changes […]
The Importance of Your Backyard in Winter
The Importance of Your Backyard in Winter We all know that over 30% of birds are in serious decline. One of the challenges birds face is destruction of habitat. And while the ultimate measure is preservation of large ranges of habitats and biomass, on a micro level, we can all do our part. What you […]
Cowbird Mysteries Brown-headed cowbirds are brood parasites – a term which is pretty much as terrible as it sounds. Basically, these cowbirds mate, and then never build a nest. The females quietly figure out which birds are building nests and then deposit eggs in the nests of these unsuspecting birds. Some birds can figure it […]
Baby Birds Through the Summer
Baby Birds Through the Summer Spring isn’t the only time to see baby birds. While most Wild Turkey chicks songbirds have already nested and many of the young have fledged, some songbirds like Bluebirds, Robins and Cardinals who may have three broods during the season, and Mourning Doves who may have as many as six, […]
Setting Up For Hummingbirds
Setting Up For Hummingbirds Rufous -tailed Hummingbird Hummingbirds are on their way to you! In fact, they may already be in your area waiting for your backyard to be ready for them to nest and live in this summer. Sure you can put out a hummingbird feeder, but with a little planning and innovation, […]
Does This Baby Bird Need Help?
Does This Baby Bird Need Help? During nesting season, baby birds maybe found all over the place, and they often seem to need help. But do they? Some chicks fall Northern Cardinal fledgling out of the nest and really do need your help. But many, once they fledge, are on the ground for several […]
Purple Martins Coming Your Way
Purple Martins Coming Your Way Want to have Purple Martins in your backyard this year? If you are willing to commit to some early spring planning, you can find find the right house and install it after the Purple Martin “scouts” arrive in your area. The first ones to arrive at the nesting site are older birds hoping to […]
Who’s Nest is This?
Who’s Nest Is This? Nests are pretty amazing. Every species of bird builds a different nest which exactly matches her own needs. Some are very elaborate and beautiful, others are burrows in the ground while others don’t look much like nests at all. Ever wonder what nest belongs to which bird? Here are a few […]
Help Nesting Birds!
Help Nesting Birds! Nesting season is happening in many places, so there is still time to help breeding birds in your backyard. Here are three easy things you can do to make nesting and raising chicks easier for the birds in your backyard. 1 — Birds can always use nesting materials! In some neighborhoods, people […]
Which Feeders and Seeds To Attract Backyard Birds
It’s great to feed and care for birds in your backyard and its a great way to get your kids involved in nature. Here are some helpful resources and ideas for making sure your backyard birds get what they need and you reap the benefits of a safe feeding station and the right food — […]
Welcome Barn Owls!
Barn Owls are fairly common residents in most of North America, but they are a species in decline and could use some help. They frequently nest or roost in abandoned barns or buildings. They also have a long history of rodent control on farms and ranches, and many farmers know the benefits of attracting a […]
How Not To Clean Up Your Backyard For Birds
This is a good time to start thinking about what to do in your backyard for birds in the spring. Instead of cleaning it all up, how about thinking differently about that dead wood? About 85 North American birds use dead trees (snags) to nest in – and they aren’t all woodpeckers! Owls, Chickadees, Bluebirds, […]
Making Your Backyard Finch Friendly in Winter
It’s winter, and if you keep your feeders stocked and make sure you have a heated open water source for birds to drink and bathe,what else can you do to attract different birds? Winter finches are a good choice as they are both beautiful and extremely hardy. But they are also picky about what they […]
Winterizing Your Backyard For Birds
Cold weather is a reminder to make your backyard inviting for birds overwintering in your area.With some simple preparations you can have birds visiting throughout the winter and create a safe spot for them to eat, get water, and even bathe when its needed. In the summer there is plenty of natural food available for […]
Backyard Project: Build a Chimney Swift Tower
If you live in or near a city, in the summertime at dusk, listen for a high pitched twittering sound overhead. This sound is Chimney swifts chasing down insects which they gobble up in midair. These “cigars with wings” have a distinct, torpedo-like body with long, thin, curved wings and are […]
FAMILY FUN: Feeding Hummingbirds
Hummingbird feeders are a great project for birders of all ages. Seed feeders attract many different types of birds, from sparrows to cardinals and finches and more. But feeding hummingbirds requires a little more thought and is very rewarding, as once hummers find your feeder, they will be there consistently for you to see. […]
FAMILY FUN: Backyard Birds Need More Than Seed!
FAMILY FUN: Backyard Birds Need More Than Seed! Spring migration is underway! It’s time to prepare your backyard to welcome the spring migrants. Bird seed is great for winter birds, and many migrating birds will appreciate it, but there are other things you can do in your backyard to welcome the new birds. A beautiful […]
Welcome Purple Martins To Your Backyard
Time to get ready for returning migrants! One of the earlier returning birds is also one of the friendliest and most social — the pretty and chatty Purple martin. Over one million North Americans put up houses each year for Martins, so if you haven’t tried attracting them to your yard, now is a perfect […]
Welcome Winter Birds To Your Backyard
January brings a new year, and a new year birding list. Keeping a list of the all the birds you see in a year is an excellent way to review what birds you have seen and track your birding accomplishments throughout the year. Although January marks a new beginning, most songbirds, shorebirds and raptors have […]
Making a Winter Haven For Backyard Birds
Your backyard birds are counting on you to keep them going through the winter. Keeping their body temperatures high enough to survive the cold is a battle for birds, and they face a constant struggle for food, water and warmth throughout the season. You can do a few simple things to help your favorite backyard […]
Getting Your Backyard Ready for Winter Birds
Want your backyard to be a haven for birds this winter? Fall is a great time to start planning and planting native plants to help birds and wildlife during the tough winter months. When there is little else to eat in the late winter, Berries just when this Cardinal needs them birds rely heavily […]
Make Your Backyard a Summer Bird Haven
Water is often the main attraction in the summer as temperatures rise and birds become both thirsty and overheated. In hot weather, fresh water helps birds keep hydrated, keep their body temperature down and keeps their feathers in optimum condition. Often clean, safe-to-visit water isn’t readily available, so leaving fresh water in a shallow basin […]
Backyard Birds: When Do Baby Birds Need Help?
There’s a baby bird on the ground and he seems to be all alone. What do you do? This is a common thing to see during nesting season. If the baby bird looks too young to be out of the nest and you can locate and reach the nest, put him back in the nest […]
Things You Can Do To Help Migrating Birds
Migrating birds face many diverse challenges. Their success is dependent on a number of unknowns over which they have no control –the most important of which are availability of food and safe habitat. When they need a much needed rest from strenuous flying, you can provide an attractive and safe haven by doing just a […]
PRINCIPLES OF BIRDING ETHICS
PRINCIPLES OF BIRDING ETHICS courtesy of the ABA Everyone who enjoys birds and birding must always respect wildlife, its environment, and the rights of others. In any conflict of interest between birds and birders, the welfare of the birds and their environment comes first. Code of Birding Ethics 1. Promote the welfare of birds […]