Bird Feeding with George Petrides
Tips on attracting and feeding backyard birds.
Sharing ideas and topics related to feeding and attracting wild birds in your backyard.
Your birds need water as much in winter as any other time of year, and their need is greatest when natural sources of water are frozen. By keeping your birdbath filled with clean, fresh water in the winter, you provide a means for your birds to keep their feathers clean. Bathing in winter is necessary for them to maintain the insulation value their feathers.
Do you place your birdbath dish upside down each fall to avoid freeze damage to the bowl? You might consider investing in a thermostat-controlled deicer or a heated birdbath or insert. These nifty accessories make terrific gifts for the birder you think has everything.
...the term “bird-watching” was coined in its modern use by environmentalist and bird-watcher, Edmund Selous, in 1902. He (1957 - 1934) was a British ornithologist and writer (see this cover of one of his books). He used this new term to distinguish the new type of observational bird-watchers he supported from the old shoot-and-draw type, represented by his brother, the then-famous big-game hunter Frederick Selous.
Selous started as a conventional naturalist, but developed a hatred of the killing of animals for scientific study and was a pioneer of bird-watching as a method of scientific study. He was a strong proponent of non-destructive bird-study as opposed to the collection of skins and eggs.
Our beautiful planet is home to billions of birds so their global mass/weight cannot be ignored – right?
Locally, many of these birds take off at sunrise, lightening the weight of our planet by billions of pounds as they go airborne.
At the same time, birds across the world are landing at local sunset.
These continuously opposing forces are thought by some to keep the Earth spinning on its axis – right?
OK, I admit that there could be a flaw in the science here but the landing/take off image is still a powerful one.
So how do woodpeckers do it?
Northern Flicker and Red-bellied Woodpecker. © Marvin Stuauffer.
The unique way woodpecker beaks attach to their skulls allows them to chisel into tree trunks without damaging their bone structure. Their long tongues quickly extend to retrieve insects and then relax again around the skull.
Pileated Woodpecker. © Janet Furlong
Their toe arrangement, two forward and two back, allows them to cling easily to tree bark – and your feeders!
6. Reduce the amount of turf in your yard, and replace it with larger planting beds.
7. Provide water for your birds in a bird bath, small pond or other water feature. Remember that moving water is a magnet for birds.
8. Although it may be shocking to see a hawk taking a bird in your backyard, there is no need for alarm. High mortality rates are normal for songbirds and balance their high reproductive rates.
9. Select a variety of trees and shrubs for your yard to provide food, shelter and nesting sites for birds year-round.
10. Remember that birds prefer feeders that give them easy access to food. Some feeders designed to keep squirrels and larger birds away often receive fewer visits from small birds as well. Always choose a bird feeder that has high bird appeal and, if necessary, use baffles or other methods to keep squirrels away. Then make sure all feeding ports and feeding areas are kept clear of debris so your birds have easy access to food
Enjoy your birds!