Garden Chick - Notes from the Garden

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I live on about 41/2 acres with most of that being in woods.  Even if you live on a small plot in the city, you can create a welcoming home for many different varieties of birds.  Birds are not only fun to watch but are a great addition to your garden, eating thousands of bugs each season. (and a few blueberrys!).  All you need to create your bird habitat is food, water, and shelter.

Food:  We have several different types of feeders including suet feeders.  This provides a variety of food to attract different types of birds.  The only feeders we don't use are the ground feeders that dove like. We have two cats, Tinkerbell and J.R., who come and go in and out of the house as they please, and I don't want to provide them with a little extra snack now and then.  I do have a chicken feeder with ground corn in it for my two hens, Rosa and Emma,
and it provides food for the birds, and the squirrels.

Water: We have a wet weather pond at the back of our property. When we bought this house, we didn't realize the pond was not dug properly, so it does not hold water year round.  In the hottest summer months it may dry up, but most of the time there is water for the birds, and occasional mallard duck who lands. My birdbath in the front yard has had the cracks repaired too many times to mention and currently has an enamel bowl in it.  Keep the water unfrozen during the winter, and change frequently in the summer.

Shelter:  Trees, brush piles, bushes, and grasses.   All of these provide shelter for birds who like to fly to the feeder, then back to shelter.  Place your feeders close to shelter in case they need to return.  Bird houses are another type of shelter and provide a place for birds to raise their young.

Winter is a great time to plan next springs garden.  Look around your yard now and see how you can incorporate some birdscaping into it.  Take your time, don't try to do it all at once. We have trees, feeders, bushes, houses and feeders now.  Next years garden plans are to bring in some fruit trees such as cherries and plums which are a great source of food for birds in the summer.

If you have kids or grandkids, let them start a bird count and find out how many birds are visiting their homes, and find out ways to bring in other species that may not be visiting your yard now.

Many gardeners think there is nothing to do in the winter, but it is a great time attract birds to benefit next years garden, and  is a great time to plan how you want to birdscape your home.


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