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 […]
Birding Tag: Backyard Gardening
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
What We’re Reading Now: The Bird Friendly City
Our cities and backyards need to be transformed to integrate nature and not be detrimental to it. Tim Beatley is a professor of architecture and an urban planner, who firmly believes that urban (and even suburban) areas, when designed correctly can restore habitat and have a positive effect on birds and nature in general. His […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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, […]