Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Bird Houses in your Back yard


Backyard birdhouses allow the birds a place to find shelter and respite in the sweltering heat of the day. While any human being would feel for the poor birds and try to help them out whenever possible, a lot of people see the birdhouses and bird baths in their backyards to help the birds out a bit of an exaggeration of their moral responsibility to help birds. Many people even fear that birds would take over their backyards and make it impossible for them to enjoy perfect evenings in their backyard with friends and family. This can’t be farther from the truth. Here are a few reasons why everyone should have bird houses and bird baths in their backyards.

Bird Houses Attract All Kinds of Birds

A well-made birdhouse in the backyard would always attract different types of birds and there is no denying that listening to the chirping of the birds during the evening is a far better option than to listen to the daily drama that ensues on TV. Imagine a view where a lot of different types of birds take shelter in your bird house and you spend time with your family and friends while watching the beautiful birds and while listening to their melodious tunes. It’s a wonderful thing to imagine. And it can become reality if you place a bird house and bird bath in your own backyard.

Bird Houses Can Serve as Back Yard Décor

Backyards are usually the most ignored places within a house and people hardly give a thought to decorating them even though backyards offer a brilliant place to relax and have fun. Well-crafted bird houses and feeders can ensure that the backyard doesn’t look drab and boring, but rather gives people a good impression of your aesthetic taste and sense. However, if you want to make use of the bird houses, feeders and bird baths as back yard décor then you will obviously need to be a bit more considerate while choosing them. Well-crafted and easy on the eye bird houses can really create that atmosphere of enjoyment that can lead to a number of playful and fun activities in the backyard.

Your Children Can Learn About Nature and Birds

As already mentioned, good bird houses in the backyard would attract a number of different kinds of birds. This would provide the children the opportunity to observe them for close range and to see how they behave and react. No teacher, no book and no presentation would be able to teach them as much as they would get to learn through this hands-on exposure to the birds. And the children will obviously get excited to see the variety of birds too!

All in all, every house with a backyard should have a birdhouse and bird bath as it would lighten up the mood in the back yard and would make the life of a lot of birds easy as well.
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                                                         Easy Cleanout Bird houses

Saturday, August 16, 2014

What Kind of Bird House Should you get?


The primary reason to have bird houses is to attract different species of birds to your home and give them a place to nest and live in safety and comfort so that you can enjoy watching them. Approaching this from a broader perspective, when putting in bird houses you should also establish feeding and watering sites and schedules for your visiting birds.

·         Robins. Although robins prefer a nesting post, they will build nests in enclosed bird houses.

·         Wrens. Wrens prefer a smaller, boxy structure. They prefer having a single, small entry.

·         Martins. The large, multi-room martin houses are some of the most beautiful bird houses made. Of a size to allow detail work, they can be quite fancy.
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Adding a bird house, or more than one, to your yard can attract many birds that you didn’t count on. Wren houses, small and secure, also attract other small birds, but most of them won’t nest in a martin house because of the multiple openings. Of course, there is nothing stopping you from putting up multiple bird houses to attract different kinds of birds.

There are some general rules to follow when locating bird houses, though. Placement is an important consideration. You don’t want to have the bird house too close to the feeder since the feeder will not only attract other species of birds, it will also attract squirrels, cats and other predators. Placing bird houses near bushes or trees will give the inhabitants a place of refuge if they feel they are in danger.

You don’t want the entry of the bird house to face east or south. This will make the interior of the bird house too warm during the late morning and early afternoon. Mounting a bird house on a pole, as opposed to suspending it from a tree, can protect the nesting birds from climbing predators.

Cleanliness is important if you want to attract birds to your home year after year. Buying or building a birdhouse that can give you access to the interior at least once a year for cleaning will make it much simpler. Cleaning should be done every spring prior to the mated birds nesting and laying eggs. For your own health, wear a face mask and gloves while cleaning the bird house.

Keeping your bird baths and feeders clean and full of water and food will also help attract a variety of birds, and other small animals, to your yard. Depending on the season and location, you might have to refill bird baths a couple of times per day to ensure fresh water for visiting birds.
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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Where and How to Spot Pileated Woodpeckers


The pileated woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) is a crow-sized, North American woodpecker that inhabits forests across the eastern United States, throughout Canada and parts of the Pacific coast. It is the largest woodpecker in the United States, with the possible exception of the possibly extinct Ivory-billed woodpecker.

Pileated woodpeckers are easy to recognize due to their size, dark coloration and distinctive red crest. Except for the undersides of the wings, the pileated woodpecker is predominantly black. The undersides of the wings are white and can be spotted when the bird is in flight. There are also black and white stripes on its face and neck. The differences in color between male and female specimens of this woodpecker are mainly limited to the coloring of the crest with the male’s plumes covering his head from the base of the bill to the backside of his head. The female’s crest, on the other hand, begins at the very top of the head and continues to the backside. The male also has a red stripe that runs along the side of his head. This is often referred to as his mustache.

Pileated woodpeckers eat carpenter ants, beetle larvae and other insects, drilling distinctive rectangular holes in dead wood to get to them. It will also feed on wild fruits and nuts, but ants constitute the bulk of its diet. In addition to drilling holes in trees to get at insects, it also excavates large holes in trees to create nests.

The nests of the pileated woodpecker are made in tree cavities, which is begun by the male and worked on by both the male and female, and eggs are laid in batches of four. These eggs are incubated by both parents during the day while the male incubates them at night. The normal incubation period is slightly longer than two weeks and the young woodpeckers fledge, or develop wing feathers large enough to fly, at approximately a month old.

Pileated woodpeckers are very territorial during most of the year. Once it has attracted a mate it ‘drums’ on dead trees to mark its territory and will not tolerate new arrivals except during the winter months. This drumming sounds like loud hammering and can be heard for quite a distance. The pileated woodpecker’s territory is usually within a mature stand of coniferous or deciduous trees, but this will vary depending on the level of forest growth. Dead and fallen trees or even younger growth can attract these woodpeckers if their preferred habitat is not available. These woodpeckers compete with wood ducks, European starlings, Eastern bluebirds and other woodpeckers for territory. However, you can occasionally find swifts and even bats sharing roost cavities with pileated woodpeckers.

The sight and sound of the pileated woodpecker is as distinctive as the bird itself is. With its undulating flight and large size, they can easily be identified in flight, and the red crest that crowns their head along with their distinctive call allows identification while roosting or foraging.
 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Colorful Bird Houses Here


I finally had to move my bird houses away from the house a little. Sometimes the wrens can be quite chatty. :-) I think they really liked the move though. They now have a lilac bush and 2 apple trees to play in, and I put the 2 bird houses next to each other on a double shepards hook. Now they fly back and forth between the two. So fun to watch!

Colorful bird houses here