As the last heat wave of summer fades, bird feeders are disappearing from backyards. Most bird lovers assume that as the weather cools and mass migration sweeps in, their beloved winged friends don't need human assistance in finding food; they can forage for it themselves. Be a wise lover of birds this year; learn how to host diverse flocks at your backyard buffet right up until winter.
Offer High-Calorie Foods
As they prepare to migrate, birds need nutritious foods rich in fat to sustain their energy. Be the best bird feeder on the block by offering high-calorie nibblets for them to find. No, this does not mean you should splurge on a pizza. The best kind of send-off for birds includes the following:
- Cracked corn.
- Black oil sunflower seeds.
Keep an eye on the feed and adjust as necessary. Making a wide range of foods available ensures that each bird gets his fill and that you'll have a chance to see a broad variety of birds on your lawn.
Consider a Specialized Feeder
Whether you put out a homemade feeder or a store-bought one, chances are that it is designed primarily to accommodate birds in warmer weather. Prepare to accommodate beautiful birds well into the colder months as winter sets in. Offer them a place to rest for a while. Consider installing a bird bath that can be heated to ensure that the freezing temperatures don't affect it.
Offer Extra Accommodations
Your feathered friends need to rest a while as they migrate toward milder weather. Consider making your backyard into a bed and breakfast instead of just an all-you-can-eat buffet. Prepare for your guests by offering them irresistible incentives to stay a while longer.
Ensure that an abundance of leaf litter gathers under your trees. Though this may make your yard look a bit unkept, it will allow the birds an opportunity to forage for tasty treats such as worms. It will also provide temporary shelter from the harsh temperatures. Growing plants that yield berries year-round also ensures that the visiting birds have more to eat at the start of winter.
Offer Protection From Predators
A bird's worst enemies are his predator and his competitor. This is especially true as cooler weather sets in and birds have fewer resources to rely upon. Help your visitors out by building them a make-shift enclosure at a safe height where they can rest and stay out of a cat's reach, for instance. This can be a wooden structure or even a manmade nest in a tree. The bird needs to get in and out of it quickly and independently though, so take care to create a basic structure rather than a complex contraption.
In terms of protection from their competitors, ensure that your feeder is squirrel-proof. Squirrels will often beat birds to an abundance of food. This is significant since they mostly eat the same types of foods. Block access to your feeder from the sides and bottom to make it inaccessible to unwanted intruders.
Make your home into a crash pad for a number of birds this fall using the above tips to your disposal. Helping out magnificent creatures is a natural mood booster, and setting up such a sanctuary will allow you to do some serious bird watching without having to leave your own home.