Skip to comments.Creating A Bird Sanctuary In Your Yard
Posted on 03/05/2005 8:07:37 AM PST by sweetliberty
As it turned out, the previous thread on this topic generated a lot of interest and several people recommended doing it as a regular thread, so here is the second installment.
How you go about creating a bird sanctuary in your yard, or outdoor space, will depend on a number of givens, some which can modified, and others over which you have no control. One of these is geographical location or climate zone. If you live in the Colorado Rockies, you are not going to attract Cardinals, no matter how many black oil sunflower seeds you put out, and if you're on a beach in Florida, it's a pretty safe bet that there will be no snow buntings visiting your yard, the cornucopia of insects notwithstanding. Of course, if global warming keeps encroaching on us, we may soon find Alaska overrun with Parrots and Flamingos, but, I digress.
Within any given area, there are a variety of habitats, so no matter what your specific location, it is possible to vastly increase the types and numbers of birds in your immediate environment by modifying your habitat to make it more bird friendly to a wider array of birds native to your region.
Another "given" is your available space. If you live in a cottage in the woods by a stream, you will obviously have a lot more options available to you than if you live in an urban apartment with nothing more than a small porch or balcony. Of course, I think the majority of us live somewhere between those extremes. The point is, even if you have nothing more than a porch, you can still make it bird friendly, thereby increasing your enjoyment of these highly entertaining creatures. If you don't even have so much as a porch, I would suggest moving!
The purpose of this thread is to share ideas for maximizing our outdoor spaces to make them appealing to birds and butterflies, to share our experiences and knowledge or expertise, photos and resources. The discussion is pretty free-flowing and may expand to include gardening, landscaping and related topics. The direction the thread takes will really be up to the FReepers who post on it. We can focus on a different topic every week or two, or just keep it open and casual, updating the thread periodically. The main thing is that we learn and have fun.
I have a few seed feeders hanging near a muscadine bush, a couple of hummingbird feeders I put out in late spring, a couple of nest boxes. etc...
My next project is some bat boxes to hopefully attract some fruit bats, which eat mosquitos.
I'm thinking about talking to my neighbor about putting up a martin house in his field. I would put one up in my yard but I have too many trees and Ive read that purple martins don't like to be hemmed in by too many trees.
If I pinged you to this thread, it is because you posted on the original, or you asked to be on the list. If anyone wants on or off the bird ping list, please let me know.
I've never seen bats here, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. I had honestly never thought of bat boxes until I started the original thread and it was being discussed. As bad as mosquitoes can get here in the summer, especially considering the diseases they can be carrying these days, and the fact that they seem to think I am a gourmet meal, it might not be a bad idea.
I have juniper hedges, wisteria that runs on the fence, three spruce trees and a walnut tree. Little birds like house finches and chickadees and sparrows love my yard.
I feed with thistle socks, sunflowers in tube feeders, seedcakes and suet blocks in wire feeders, mixed seed in tray feeders.
I used to hang these feeders on the front porch near a forsythia, but now I have moved the winter feeding station to a fence where the wisteria grows. The birds seem to like the shelter of that area better. I have had nuthatches and towhees come to visit, and one day, a falcon of some sort popped into the yard!
I will have to move the main feeding area as the wisteria begins to grow. I just won't be able to keep the tube feeders right where they are, cause the wisteria grows fast! I won't be able to get to the fence.
I have been playing around with what type of plants would make the birds happy, too...I usually get some hummingbirds in.
But I haven't put up any nesting boxes. That might be an interesting thing to do.
The Purple Martins are back in Texas already. I always clean the houses on the middle weekend of February. I saw the scouts on the 12 of Feb, and had to mess with them for one day. Last weekend, there were 28 Martins on the power lines. Here at work, I saw close to 100 Martins sitting on the power lines last week.
You are correct about the trees being close to the houses. They like and area where they can glide into the houses, with about 100 ft of no obstructions. I live on a golf course, so that is right up their alley.
Oops! I missed a whole section of the list. Ping to post #4.
Great shot of Chickadee! Who doesn't love a Chickadee:)
Great shot! Dang! I've got to get a better camera.
Peckers in love !!!!
They're the only ones that are fun to watch! Who cares about the stooopid birds? Seriously, if I'm leaving food out as bait, I'll feed whatever comes around. I don't like people who bait wildlife, and then shoot the kind they don't like.
I feed my rowdy band of squirrels a mix of black sunflower seeds and peanuts.
My red squirrels are the easiest to photograph, they let me get closer, the big grey ones run away.
Fotki is running a special right now....$25 a year for a premium account...unlimited storage and linking.
You might want to go ahead with the martin house on your property.
I have one within 10 feet of some trees. There already are martins in it this year, and martins have nested in it every year since I put it up. Other neighbors in the area with martin houses close to trees are also enjoying success.
The Martins do like to be close to some water, like a pond or even a swimming pool. You often see them drinking "on the fly."
I haven't either. I would like to put up a couple, anyway, for starters. Just not sure what kind.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.