Vinny and Scooter March into Spring with their Top Ten Ways to Improve your Backyard Habitat!
Spring is on its way and our temps are on the rise. With the changing weather also comes the need to do a little spring cleaning. So grab a broom and dust off the bird feeders and get ready for Vinny and Scooter’s top ten ways to enhance, improve and clean out your backyard habitat!
10) Get rid of it! If you still have one of those old, creaky, broken bird houses or feeders, give your birds a break this year and offer them an upgrade. You know what I mean… c’mon… it’s made of wood, purchased a few years ago; it’s all worn, the edges are chewed and stained. Yea. That one. Get rid of it. Those bird feeding tools are notoriously hard to clean properly. Because of that, they can harbor some pretty nasty diseases which can run rampant through a flock of backyard visitors. Replace it with one of Wild Birds Unlimited’s lifetime guaranteed houses or feeders. Made from recycled materials, these feeders can be easily cleaned, come in several designs suitable for specific needs, and are available in an array of colors and seed capacities.
9)Spread the wealth! While one feeding station is certainly good, a few, spread farther apart throughout your yard, means even more birds will have an opportunity to visit. Make each spot a haven for certain types of birds! More aggressive birds; Jays and Mockingbirds, tend to frighten smaller, more docile birds like finches and sparrows. Ensuring your backyard visitors feel safe and secure in their feeding stations will bring them back time and again.
8)The right tool for the right job! Visit your local Wild Birds Unlimited in Clearwater/Safety Harbor to ask about which types of seed works best for the birds you’d like to see in your backyard. While most birds will eat just about anything, that doesn’t mean it’s good for them. WBU has specially designed seeds that cater to the specific tastes, health needs and preferences of certain types of birds. Once a routine of food is established, your backyard visitors will become regular guests, knowing you’re supplying them with the food they prefer.
7)If you can’t beat them… give them peanuts and call it a day! Squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons… Oh my! They’re here to stay and there’s just about no way to keep them from regarding your feeders and seed with rapturous joy. They mean no ill-will but, they also don’t care that you’ve settled with your coffee to enjoy the birds eating the seed you’ve supplied. They’re like those annoying cousins; we all have them, just feed them and keep them at a distance as much as possible. Use WBU’s Squirrel Proof Eliminator Feeder to keep squirrels guessing and raccoons away. They may try to grab a morsel but there will be none of the rampant seed loss as often seen with the usual open feeders. Set up a feeding station just for these furry guys. Peanuts, bark butter and a bungee cord will keep them occupied, in their own space and out of your ruffled feathers.
6)Trim the fat! Of your overgrowth, that is. While birds certainly prefer a nice branch or twig on which to rest, overgrowth that falls too close or covers feeders or houses can cause issues of safety by providing hiding spots for predators like cats and snakes. Trim hedges, vines and shrubbery back and away from houses and feeding stations to help ensure your backyard visitors have a birds-eye-view of the surrounding area.
5)Save the children! Providing safe and healthy nesting spots will help to ensure more consistent breeding in your own backyard. Popular Florida wild birds like eastern Blue Birds, can often have two broods a season. Because of this prolific breeding, they need safe, healthy and secure nesting tools and areas. Set up houses near -but not too close- to feeding stations and water sources. Wild Birds Unlimited has a terrific line of houses to meet the needs of all of your Florida backyard wild bird guests.
4)Sometimes less is more! No big backyard for a habitat of your own? No worries! With WBU’s Advanced Pole System, your deck, patio or porch can become a feeding station for any type of bird you’d like to see. With it’s versatile accessories, the APS can be applied to a deck railing, buried in the ground beside a porch or patio and then used to hang feeders or houses or any type of wild bird feeding tool you’d like to use! For a quick change and a pretty addition, add in a hanging plant. This will serve as a resting spot for your visiting birds and also provides a pretty display for your smaller backyard habitat design.
3)Get involved! Join a local wild bird watching group or nature event. Pinellas county is full of them. Our local parks, universities and habitat areas offer a wide range of opportunities for wild bird watching, educational seminars and fun events for most any age and activity level. It’s a terrific way to get the family involved in the various aspects of Florida’s natural wonders.
2)No pain, No gain! If you don’t refill feeders, keep them clean and neaten up your backyard habitat areas, routinely, Florida’s wild birds won’t hang around until you do. Birds are fickle but, thankfully, are creatures of habit. Once they find a great spot, they’ll stay, coming back time and again to feed, nest and breed. So stay consistent by keeping up appearances and providing a safe and healthy backyard habitat area.
1)Anticipa-Haay-shun! So there you are. You have your habitat/s set up. You’ve done all of the above; supplying feeders, houses and seed to an adoring flock who seem to be… oddly… absent. Days pass, maybe even a few weeks? Then you start to wonder on the set up and the seed and finally, whether or not aliens have landed and sucked up all the birds… feathers and all. No. None of the above. Birds migrate, their patterns change and sometimes, all we hear –and sometime see– are crickets beneath our feeders. This is totally normal and is no big deal. Remove the seed and put it in storage for a few days. Set out small containers of seed and wait to see them moving in to feed. Once you see a progressively higher level of activity, then bring out the big stuff again; the feeders and houses, and yummy seed! You’ll be surprised at how fast the crowds will gather!
As always, we suggest a visit to your local Wild Birds Unlimited in Clearwater/Safety Harbor to discuss the best ways to create or enhance your backyard habitat!