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: Safe Backyards
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
3 Billion Birds Gone – What Else Can I Do To Help?
After the release of the scientific report last month, spearheaded by White-throated Sparrow Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel Cornell Lab of Ornithology, showing the loss of 3 billion birds in North America in less than 50 years, we were deluged with requests asking what can a normal person do to help? The decline of birds is so precipitous that […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]