Nature

Easy Ideas to Help Birds Build Their Springtime Home

Spring is finally here!  For the North, many are breathing a sigh of relief and hoping the worst of the bizarre winter weather is finally done.  Here in Virginia, February and March temperatures were up and down more than a Duncan® Yo-Yo!  One day 70 plus degrees, a day later down to 19 degrees!  I don’t remember a winter with such dramatic temperature swings since I moved here in 1971.

The birds are back in full swing and looking to “nest.”   Here are some easy things you can do to help out our feathered friends.  Put a few clumps of that pesky “dryer lint” on  branches or bushes — birds will take pieces to feather their nest.  If you have string, twine, knitting yarn or Easter straw: cut pieces of them in assorted 3” to 5” strands and hang them on bushes or branches.  Watch them disappear as the birds pluck them away to use for building their nests.   If you’re lucky, you’ll find their nest with a colorful piece of your Easter straw or yarn carefully crafted into their new spring digs.  But remember, if you find a nest, look but don’t touch!

Another way to give them a hand is to provide them with a birdhouse.  Be sure your birdhouse does not contain treated wood, as this can be harmful to the birds.  A company called Home Bazaar(HB) has colorful birdhouses and has a tag on them that they are bird-safe and made with untreated wood.  These houses come in great colors and many beautiful designs such as Log Cabin, Victorian, Cape Cod, etc.  I’ve seen them online and in retail stores (“HB” is prominently noted on the back of their houses) and are worth checking out if you want your birds to really get the royal treatment.

Not all birds will take to a birdhouse, but some of the more common backyard birds that have been known to nest in birdhouses are:  sparrows, titmice, bluebirds, chickadees and wrens.  Some birds like robins, don’t make birdhouses their home, but love to build their nests on platforms such as shown in the photo.  Add a few platforms to your yard and see which of your birds prefer a “platform house.”

Spring is prime-time when it comes the real estate housing market, so go ahead – give your birds a hand with their new springtime home and see which birds are moving into your zip code!   Oh – and don’t forget to clean out your bird feeders, put out some suet, birdseed and fresh, clean water.