When enjoying your post-Christmas coffee by the window, watching birds play and eat from a bird feeder can be one of the top ways to wind down. And to help make the view more enjoyable, there are a few bird house etiquette tips to enhance your experience.
Most people tend to think that bird feeders are just for the spring and summer months, but did you know that some of the most entertaining feedings happen during the winter? Winter birds use bird houses as a safe haven during the cold days and nights. Bird feeding etiquette applies to both summer and winter feedings.
Keep The Bird Feeders Up
Many experts agree that having a bird feeder out all year is a plus for your bird watching experience, giving you a chance to see summer and winter birds. The best time of year to put out a new birder feeder is mid-March when the weather starts turning the corner to brighter days.
Keeping clean, fresh-looking bird houses and feeders in your yard is rule number one in bird house etiquette. Even something as simple as a bird feeder can greatly increase or decrease your landscaping curb appeal.
This time of year is great to shop for your new spring feeder of fix up one you have in storage. Choosing the right bird feeders and proper placement for those feeders is key to seed eating success.
Winter bird feeders
Bird houses are ideal for the winter. Houses provide a safe haven for the birds to keep warm. And they create a sheltered environment for birds to nest in.
Placement for winter bird feeders is very important. It is ideal to hang a bird house under a sheltered area such as a tree or shrub. A covered area protects the birds and the bird house from snow and ice. If placing under a tree, aim for a lower branch instead of a high branch.
Summer bird feeders
Bird houses are good for summer feedings as well, but having an open feeding station with a perch is best for viewing purposes. Many open feeders are now made to keep squirrels away, which is an added benefit!
Placing a summer feeder is easy. Look for a spot that is easily viewable from your window, or try to decorate your bird houses and feeders to match your landscaping.
Keep it clean
While it is illegal to tamper with bird nests, it is wise to make sure you are properly taking care of your bird house, especially if it is a homemade bird house. When old nests stay in a bird house too long, mites and other bugs are attracted to the nest. Along with these small bugs are parasites that can form in old birds nests.
The best way to keep your bird house clean is to check on it at the beginning of each season. Check for weather damages, old bird nests and use your check up as an opportunity to clean out all old food and replace it with new fresh seed.
Keep it Simple
The final rule of bird house etiquette is to keep your bird feeder simple. Birds don’t need a lot of flash and prestige, birds just need a place to perch and a good mix of seed to eat. In the winter they do need shelter, but the more your bird feeder blends in with the nature around it, the better.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying your bird feeders can’t be uniquely you, what I am saying is that your bird feeder shouldn’t take over your yard. Having a few bird feeders strategically placed around your lawn is ideal. Make sure to place your feeders in areas that are easily seen from your window for your viewing pleasure. You’ll be gazing at the beautiful cardinals, blue jays and more in no time.