Lebanon Reporter

Columns

February 22, 2014

Attracting wild birds to your yard for enjoyment

(Continued)

Berries: Wax wings, robins, bluebirds and thrushes. Raisins and currants: Wax wings, orioles, robins, bluebirds and thrushes.

Nuts: Creepers, towhees, juncos, thrashes, mockingbirds, warblers and woodpeckers.

Apples: Wax wings, mockingbirds, thrashers, wrens, cardinals, grosbeaks and buntings. Fruit: Tanagers, orioles, woodpeckers, mockingbirds, thrashers, warblers, cardinals, grosbeaks, buntings, goldfinches and finches.

Things you can use, if you are using recipes to make homemade wild bird food:• Raisins, dates or currants• Shelled peanuts• Apples• Oranges• Birdseed mix• Black oil sunflower seeds• String or yarn• Lard, shortening or rendered suet• Crunchy peanut butter• Jellies and jams, especially grape• Molasses• Oatmeal• Stale bread, breadcrumbs, cereal or crackers• Baked goods, especially plain doughnuts hung on a string• Cornmeal or cornbread mix• Cream of wheat• Flour (whole wheat flour preferred)Once you have attracted the birds with enticing foods, you need to provide water. This can be done by setting up bird baths around the yard. A dripping hose hung from a tree, a garbage can lid turned upside down and placed on the ground, a small bucket filled with water and hung from a tree branch, ceramic saucers filled with water and placed on a tree stump, or a naturally formed river rock with water are perfect for those thirsty winged friends. If you are industrious you can make your own small pond by digging a hole and lining it with a plastic liner or making a wood frame that holds a baking dish or dog water bowl in place but can be easily changed. Birds are also attracted to moving water, so fountains or ponds with pumps will draw their attention.

Finally, having shelter will encourage your feathered friends to stay and maybe even raise a family. There are many cute and quirky bird houses that are available for purchase, or you can build your own. Clean milk jugs with a hole drilled in the front for an entrance and string through the top for hanging are easy and cheap houses. Empty wire baskets attached to a tree trunk or suspended from a branch can also be used. Place some soft cloth, pet hair, stuffing from old furniture, yarn, or fuzzy material by the basket. Do not put materials in the baskets as birds will think they are already occupied.

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