>> Saturday, December 29, 2007
Birds and I have a pretty good working relationship. I feed them and they come around and eat.
There are also two bird baths available for their drinking and bathing pleasure. I try keep them cleaned and filled regularly.
The one missing element, in this otherwise garden of eden, is shelter. Shelter from the weather and predators and shelter for nesting.
There are two trees in my front yard, this large Catalpa tree, left photo, and a fairly full Dogwood tree, photo on the right, but there are many larger trees in the neighborhood that bear leaves all winter and therefore are far better suited for sheltering the birds that grace our humble part of this planet. And I have no intention to compete with these beautiful trees just to get birds nests built in my yard.
Here is a small example of these sheltering trees within my immediate vicinity.
There are several fruit trees in my back yard but they don’t provide the suitable shelter these evergreen trees do. As you can see from this photo taken last Spring, the apple tree, pictured here to the right, gets pretty full but I have never seen a birds nest in it.
The cherry tree doesn’t seem to be attractive to nesting birds either.
I don’t really have to have nesting birds in my yard. I suppose it’s just one of those ‘nice things to have’.
I feel fortunate enough to be able to provide these birds with at least two of their requirements for survival. And they seem to ‘appreciate’ it because they come back every day, rain or shine, or snow, mainly finches, chick-a-dees and doves. Other birds come in once in awhile, but my guess is they only come around when they can’t find what they want anywhere else. A family of Northern Flickers show up every winter for the suet. Dark-eyed Juncos also show up in winter for whatever falls from the feeders because they won’t sit on the feeders’ perches. Maybe the finches are too aggressive for them.
Nowadays I only put out sunflower seeds, because the birds throw every thing else onto the ground and it doesn’t get eaten.
Many people think there has to be a variety of plants to keep birds coming around, but I have found, as long as you have feeders, they will come.
So, as long as someone else is taking care of the shelter and nesting requirements for these birds, I am satisfied with two out of three.