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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It's time to start saving nest material

Nesting season for birds will be here soon. To attract nest-building birds to your yard, start collecting bits of thread, yarn, string and such. Any color will do, but remember that birds don't want their nest to be obvious, so they seem to avoid bright, vibrant colors. "Sheddings" from your pet are also ideal.

When collecting, make sure nothing is longer than 3 inches. Longer strands can tangle birds' feet, making moving (& flying) difficult.

In addition I like to make sure there's plenty of now-dead prairie grass around. In my yard there are lengths of last year's Bluestem Grass and Inland Sea Oats. Birds seek out this dead prairie grass for nest material just as their ancestors have done for ages.

When nesting season starts (late February for north Texas) you'll want to put the nesting material where it won't just blow away. I use an old suet cage, which allows easy access for birds. A pan with 2+" sides works too, unless wind gusts are really bad.

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