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Oh My Stars!

Taking care of our fine feathered friends

One sure and simple pleasure in life comes from watching and listening to backyard birds.

When we first moved to our home 7 years ago, there was nary a bird in sight.  There just weren’t trees to provide safety and places to nest in our brand new subdivision.  The lack of birdsong broke my heart and was something I missed most about our old home.

But as our neighborhood has filled in with houses and trees, the birds have finally come to live and stay.

Last year a large family of quail visited our backyard for several weeks, and I am finally hearing the lovely and sorrowful call of Mourning Doves.

In addition to providing suet, seed and hummingbird feeders, the other thing I do for the birds is providing nesting material.

It may seem a bit like littering, but I put out small pieces of wool yarn or unbleached cotton muslin in the shrubs or trees.  The birds are sure to find them and carrying them home to line their nest.  I simply tear apart 4″ – 6″ x 1/2″ sections of muslin or cut 6″ pieces of yarn, then spread them around the yard.  If you don’t like the idea of spreading it around, you can put the pieces in a suet cage, which costs a couple of dollars from the hardware store.  Then hang the cage in a tree.  Just make sure you are putting out only natural fibers.

Other great things to put out for nesting material is dog or horse hair and even hair from your hair brush.  Talk about “Reusing and Recycling.”

I love to think of my soft little gifts lining a nest and keeping a baby bird warm.

It doesn’t take much to invite the birds to come and stay in your backyard, and you’re sure to be repaid with their lovely song.

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One Response to “Taking care of our fine feathered friends”

  • Jana Richardson:

    I had to share my story of birds! We have two really big trees in our backyard and a deck that is close by. I welcome the birds back each spring and love hearing their songs. ( Even though the birds drive my dachshund crazy!) Well, this year we noticed that every time we opened the door to the deck a Starling would fly off. Upon further investigation we opened the lid to the BBQ and found a huge birds nest in it. First, there was only one little blue egg, but it disappeared. Then another one came only to disappear later. We thought that would be the end of the eggs. But, one day we looked and found a new little egg. This continued for a few days, and now we have a total of five little blue eggs. Mama bird still flies off when we open the door, but returns after a little bit. It has been so much fun to watch this up close. We are anxiously waiting to see if the eggs will hatch. However, it has definitely put a stop to any summer BBQ’s!

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