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Buiuld A Bird Habitat
April 28, 2014

Prayers to the storm ravaged areas.

The roller coaster weather pattern continues.

Still, I am able to venture out once in a while.

I'm slowly getting some yard stuff done, and I get a walk in from time to time as well.

Pictured are catkins (blooms) from a Aspen tree.

A little sign of spring.

Still, there are no woodland flowers in bloom.

Not even Spring Beauty, Violets, or Trout lilies.

May apple haven't broken ground yet.

What to do for a May Basket this year?

Notice the moss in the Nesting box.

Black-capped chickadees will hopefully have a successful brood.

In the fields and woodland, other birds are nesting too.

Notice the sitting duck, and later are pictures of a Canada goose.

The first picture has her sitting in peace.

The second picture is after I spoke to here.

Yes, she is attempting to hide.

Both nests are on the flood plain (near the creek).

Heavy rains will flood them out, if predators don't get them.

Take a walk and enjoy your surroundings.

See what nature has to offer.

Currently my yard is filled with Red-winged blackbirds, Cowbirds, Song sparrows, Robins, Goldfinches and House finches.

Dark-eyed juncos remain.

No big hurry when snow still covers the north country.

A few of what I call winter birds, even though most of them are year round birds.

Birds like cardinals, chickadees, woodpeckers, a nuthatch or two and a couple of Tufted titmice will visit a feeder, not in the numbers they visit during the snow and cold.

Female American robins are picking up nesting materials, even though many of the trees are still bare and the temperatures have been below normal, daylight hours and hormones wait for no man.

Do you have any birds hanging around with brightly colored breasts?

Many of these birds will perch in locations so the sun can shine on and reflect the colors more.

Meadowlarks especially will follow the sun through the sky as they do this.

You know us guys, we can't wait to show off the ladies.

Male hummingbirds will fly and display their Gorget so the colors reflect just so to impress the ladies.

For example, without the sunlight, a Male Ruby-throated hummingbird's Gorget appears almost black instead of ruby red.

Well, with spring finally showing some of its colors and life around here, it is safe to finally get some outdoor play in.

Grooming isn't much, as I prefer to leave much of the leaf litter in the flower beds.

Leaf litter turns into nice organic matter, feeding the plants and enriching the soil.

Leaf litter is used for bird nests, birds scratch for food under the litter.

Toads and salamanders will find the damp decaying material makes a good hide out.

Little sticks and twigs are used by many birds for nesting.

Wildlife gardening makes gardening a lot easier and more enjoyable.

This weeks letter....

Creating a Wildlife/Bird Habitat


(Garter Snake)

If you're a bird lover like me, and want to draw a diverse range of bird life to your yard, you'll need more than just a birdbath or bird feeder.

You need to attract birds the way a natural habitat would.

Creating a habitat for birds in your yard is not as difficult as it sounds.

It just takes some planning, a combination of dense, diverse native vegetation for shelter, as well as water and food sources.

Check natural areas and preserves in you area.

Think like a bird.

To create a bird-friendly habitat, you'll need to forget about having a well-manicured yard.

Birds are attracted to natural, dense growth, so let an area of your yard or garden grow uninhibited.

You'll also need an area for abundant bushes, a tree or trees and flowers that attract and make local birds feel at home.

Birds thrive on the seeds and fruits from these plants.

Native plants also offer food for insects (next week, feed the birds).

Dead leaves, old brush and long grasses attract birds because they provide good nesting material and food, in the way of insects.

Your bird habitat should be made up of plants native to your region.

The reason for this is two-fold:

Local birds are accustomed to local plants and the plants will thrive in their natural habitat.

Native plant species are adapted to local rainfall amounts and other weather patterns, as well as soil type.

They require less maintenance, less assistance from chemical fertilizers and less watering, which makes it easier on you and the environment.

Birds will flock to your habitat if they are comfortable with the plants there.

Birds recognize regional trees and shrubs as sources of food and shelter from predators.

Choose plants that produce seeds, berries and nuts.

Native Trees, Shrubs for the Wildlife Garden, and Native flowers.

(Notice the moss in the nest box, Chickadees use moss.)

Use a variety of plants densely planted in layers to attract a variety of birds to your habitat.

Create these layers, or tiers, in your habitat by creating a gradual "step down" effect from tallest to shortest.

Plant trees, surrounded by shrubbery, and then border this with flowers or grasses, for example.

Some bird species may be attracted to flowers and some prefer perusing grasses for seeds, worms and insects.

Others like to feast on berries and other fruits from bushes and trees. Different species may also visit separate areas of the habitat for particular functions, for example, feeding versus nesting.

The density of the habitat's vegetation provides shelter and protection and opportunities for nesting.

The more wide-open the space in your yard, the less protection there is for birds which decreases the chances of them visiting for long periods.

Birds have many predators, larger birds, snakes, cats or other animals.

Dense foliage hides or otherwise provides barriers from these predators and allows birds to thrive and nest in your habitat.

Good locations for your habitat are corners of your yard, such as those adjacent to an already wooded area, or areas around buildings or other structures.

The main objective is to cut down on wide-open spaces where birds feel unprotected.

Building a Bird Garden.

When choosing plants, consider their natural cycles and what they provide to birds in particular seasons.

Flowers and flowering shrubs provide nectar and thus insects for birds to eat.

Nut or fruit trees provide food sources in late summer and fall.

Evergreens provide shelter all year long.

Sources of water and food to attract birds will complete your bird habitat.

Offer clean water by supplying a classic pedestal birdbath, fountain, a combination of water-filled saucers or a water garden.

A water garden or small pond is a great way to attract birds.

Ponds can be stocked with fish, frogs, and insects and other critters that are attractive food sources to birds and small mammals.

No matter what kind of water source you provide, it's essential if you want birds to stick around.

Offer various feeders and nesting boxes throughout your habitat.

Well, it is time to fly for now.

Before I go, here is your positive thought for the week.

God Bless.

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you'll never walk alone.

Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993) British Actress

Would you expect anything less from a classy person?

God's word says.

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?"

Apostle Paul, Romans 8:35

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."

Jesus Christ, John 18:14

"Treat the earth well:

It was not given to you by your parents,

It was loaned to you by your children.

We do not inherit the Earth from our

Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."

Ancient Indian Proverb

Your friend indeed,

Ron Patterson

PS. If you enjoy these letters, please forward them to friends, family and co-workers.

Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.

Gardening For Wildlife.

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