Spring is here which means it is the beginning of the pleasant time of the year, the migration season. As May approaches (the peak time for bird-watching), many birdies have made their way or are returning to their breeding grounds, summer or winter homes. Different regions and states witness different kinds of birds in the migration season. For instance, the Lake Erie Shoreline of Ohio which is the best place for birdwatchers in North America sees different species throughout the season including ducks, Swans, Bald Eagles, Turkey Vultures, Tree Swallows, and Fox Sparrows to name a few.
May is the month when most members of the songbird family return from their winters homes in Mexico and Central America. If you are in Maryland, you may spot the state bird, Baltimore Orioles and the members of the Heron family, popularly known as lovebirds, the Great Blue Heron. Since the birds will be migrating, they may take refuge in your backyard for building nests and mating. To provide the birds a safe habitat and attract them into your gardens, I bring you the ultimate guide that will help you set up your bird refuge.
What Will You Need?
If you are a bird enthusiast, you may already have these items in your house, but for beginners, it will be an initial investment. You need to get the following items:
Some birds build their nests whereas other species do look for a shelter, and a birdhouse is a perfect choice for it. You can buy one from the store or create one yourself. Yes, it will require effort, but the treat of watching these beautiful birds nesting in your garden is worth it. The size, design, and location for installing the birdhouse will depend on the type of creatures you aim to attract as different birds will have varying needs. You can also add some bird toys in the house to keep the feathered friends entertained.
If you already have the perfect birdhouse in your home, you may have put it away during the winters. It will require some cleaning, but we have the simplest tips for it. Remove the nesting material, feces or any other dirt from the house and clean it with a diluted bleach solution (1 part bleach and nine parts water.) Rinse it thoroughly and leave to dry out.
You can attract all types of birds by putting out a bird feeder and filling it with seeds. There are different varieties available, tube feeders which are cheaper, hopper feeders, etc. If you already have one then clean it with warm soapy water, don’t use chemicals. Make sure you regularly add food to the feeders otherwise the birds would face trouble in finding another source. You can sprinkle seeds on the ground to help birdies find the location.
If you are looking to attract hummingbirds, a nectar feeder would be the best choice. You must change the nectar every few days. These should be hanged early, at least two weeks before the expected arrival of the hummers; the time of the year varies for each state so you will need to check on that.
An easy tip for cleaning hummingbird feeders is using rice and vinegar. Keep one cup of uncooked rice in the feeder and add a solution of one part vinegar and four parts water to it. Shake it vigorously and pour the mixture out, rinse the feeder and let it dry.
Helping Birds Build Nests
The backyard may have some old nests placed on trees from the previous migration season. These nests can be disposed of correctly to empty the space for the birds to build new nests this year. Some birds could use supplies such as strings, yarn, dried moss, straw or twigs for preparing their homes, so keep such items in your yard. You can also create a mud puddle.
Birds require water to drink and bathe in, so installing a birdbath, a fountain or any other source of fresh water will help. You must choose one that suits your yard and is convenient to clean and maintain. An ideal choice would be a bigger bath as that can accommodate more birds without causing territorial battles, of course, you must keep in mind that it will be difficult to move around and clean. It should have a depth of 1-2 inches and a moving water source such as a fountain, dripper; water spray would be all the better. Make sure you change the water on a frequent basis and protect the birdbath from becoming a mosquito habitat by using bird-friendly and safe insecticides.
Danica Boyd is a bird enthusiast and nature lover. She has been keeping pet birds for several years and now has tons of practical experience in caring for birds. She writes for the team behind https://www.birdcagesnow.com/.