Written by an area Landscape Architect and birdwatcher with over 30 years of experience with landscaping in north Texas: what works and what doesn't. Emphasis on attracting birds to north Texas yards, and reducing required yard maintenance. Tips, trivia and proven advice for a natural, low-cost approach for this unique and sensitive part of the country.
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Saturday, November 3, 2012
Birdfeeders do NOT create "dependent" birds
Lots of people still buy into the old belief that providing wild birds with food gets them "hooked" on seed/suet from birdfeeders. Not true!
The reality is this; food that wild birds get from feeders is less than 10% of their diet. Seed from feeders is not only convenient, it's often a matter of life or death - especially in bad weather when natural food is scarce.
Birds always prefer the absolute freshest food around. That's certainly seed from native plants growing in their vicinity.The seed these plants produce is totally fresh, of course, when birds get it. That's why the vast majority of a bird's diet is from live, healthy plants. It's also why I recommend that you plant "birdscape" plants in your yard right now. In north Texas, now is the very best time to plant, even though you won't see any above-ground growth until spring. (For a list of "birdscape" plants native to this area, email me at Birdpoop@charter.net )
WHERE DO THEY CARRY PASSPORTS? The fall migration of Monarch butterflies is underway. Every fall they travel southward to fir forests in the Oyamel Mountains of central Mexico, funneling through north Texas. One particular butterfly may make it all the way from start to finish, but it's almost impossible for one particular Monarch to go on two migrations. They have short life spans, so when a Monarch dies during migratory flight, newborn ones (from eggs laid along the way) continue the flight - instinctively knowing where to go. These children, or the childrens' descendants will take part in the next annual migration.