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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Sunday, April 20, 2014
Don't unknowingly pay for weeds when you buy birdseed.
A recent university study examined ten popular
brands of birdseed and found that half of them contained seeds of at least six
species of weeds. Not only are you paying for the weed seeds unknowingly, but they’re
likely to sprout and spread in your yard, and wild birds rarely eat them.
From my experience, the merchants most guilty of selling weed seeds mixed in with real birdseed are the grocery stores or "big box" stores, where "low price" is king, and quality is not considered.
A sense of accomplishmentIf
you’re putting up a birdhouse especially for woodpeckers, try putting a
too-small entrance hole in it (less than 2“). Three reasons: 1. it forces the
woodpecker to peck to enlarge the hole – a key part of their courtship
behavior,2. the small hole keeps starlings
from taking over the box,3. it’s easy
to see if a woodpecker is interested, just by looking for signs of pecking.
can also accomplish this with a birdhouse you buy, just by fastening a thin
piece of wood or cardboard (with a too-small hole) over the real hole.
OWEN YOST, in
addition to being a blogger, is a licensed Landscape Architect emeritus who has
lived and worked in north Texas for over 30 years. He is the recipient of a
Lifetime Achievement Award of the Native Plant Society of Texas, and is a
member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International
Federation of Landscape Architects, National Wildlife Federation and the
Audubon Society. His office is at Yost87@charter.net in Denton.