It’s the time of year when we’re all ready for spring. Prior to the latest nor’easter, a few eager tulips had poked their way up on the south-facing side of my flower garden. Right now, they’re buried under a few inches of snow, but it won’t be long before the last remnants of winter melt away. Spend a little time outdoors and you’ll notice how anxious backyard critters are for spring, too, including birds. Even with steady wet snow falling, birds chirped and trilled in the bare branches and twigs this morning–a bright and very welcome sound!
Spring is an exciting season for birding and a terrific time to start feeding. You’ll attract the year-round resident birds, plus there’s the potential to bring in migrants who need food on their journeys north. Many of the foods birds consume in nature are scarce this time of year, including seeds, grain, and insects. You can make the most of the opportunity to establish your backyard as a reliable source of food and an attractive space for birds with a little 5. preparation. These 5 tips for attracting backyard birds in spring require minimal time and effort.
Attracting Backyard Birds in Spring
1. Add extra feeders and houses. Using several types of feeders and houses opens up the possibility of attracting a greater variety and number of birds to your yard. Metal hoppers, multi-perch tubes and open platforms are designed to appeal to the different feeding styles of a variety of birds.
2. Offer different types of foods. This can mean a variety of birdseed types, but that’s not all! Peanut butter, fruit, suet, nectar and even meal-worms are additional options that will likely attract new and interesting birds to your yard.
3. Cleaning and maintenance. The buildup of ice and snow, the accumulation of feces during winter feeding, and damage due to falls or hits from branches or twigs can leave bird feeders in rough shape. Take the time to thoroughly clean your feeders and houses, including nesting boxes you may have neglected to clean out last fall. Make any necessary repairs or parts replacements while you have feeders or houses at hand, too.
4. Replace damaged feeders. Any bird feeders or houses that no longer function properly or look their best should be replaced if they can’t be repaired. This will help you avoid discouraging hungry birds, and make your backyard an attractive place to enjoy bird-watching.
5. Provide clean water. Don’t forget to provide clean, fresh water for birds! Clean and repair any bird baths as needed, and be sure to clear away ice on frosty mornings. If you don’t have a bird bath, consider adding one or two with ample room for drinking and bathing.
Meeting the spring needs of birds in your backyard is a terrific way to celebrate the season and prepare for the summer to come. Birds offer so many benefits beyond their beauty and songs, from helping to control insect populations to pollination and more. With just a little bit of effort this spring, you can look forward to all the rewards of a bird-filled backyard for months to come.