Be kind to birds in your backyard this winter by providing food, water, and shelters. Then relax in your warm house while observing and enjoying your little feathered friends.
The best way to provide food is to plant native trees and bushes with berries. The birds love them (and you too for planting them). Be careful and don't plant exotic bushes and trees. Their berries may not be edible. Keep your feeders full. Replenish your suet feeders as needed. Clean feeders and the area beneath them regularly.
Fill birdbaths often with fresh water. Cleaning them with water and white vinegar will help the water to stay clear and fresh.
Plant shrub rows to provide shelter. Make brush piles. Keep old branches and dead small trees in one corner of your yard.
Be very careful about pesticides. Don't use them. Let the birds take care of the insects, as insects may be part of their diet.
A good book to have if you wish to establish a bird backyard habitat is the National Wildlife Federation's Attracting Birds, Butterflies, and Other Backyard Wildlife by David Mizejewski.
The Clarksville Garden Club has formed a study group called BBB. BBB stands for birds, butterflies and bees. The study group meets once a month in an informal atmosphere to discuss sightings of birds, butterflies, and bees. They share anecdotes and pictures and talk about their experiences with the three Bs. (It sound like lots of fun)
The BBB would like to encourage everyone to participate in the Cornell Lab of Ornithology 11th Annual "Great Backyard Birdcount" sponsored by the Audobon Society. It will be February 15th-18th, 2008 and is a really good activity to enjoy with children and grandchildren. For further information visit the www.birdsource.org/gbbc website. (The local newspaper will also carry information about this birdcount and I will post about it as the time nears. It is a national birdcount and is very important and quite easy to do.)
I thank Helene for her timely tips for the birds. This is the time of year I enjoy them most and we mustn't forget them when the weather outside is frightful but the fire inside is so delightful...
I will post a list of great plants to plant for the birds very soon.
in the garden....with the birds!