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, August 3, 2014
Ugly birds?? That'll go away by itself.
the process of researching “bird mites” I was amazed at the number of companies
that wanted to sell you something to kill bird mites. Unless you keep indoor
birds (like in cage) don’t waste your money. The first frost will kill bird
mites on wild birds.But, since it won’t
kill their eggs, it’s a recurring annoyance.
Blue Jay w/mites
birds sometimes look shaggy and diseased toward the end of the summer. Usually,
birds control mites by themselves – by preening with their beaks. But, since
they can’t preen their heads, they may lose feathers there.They’ll grow back!
mites are very rarely a problem on humans. On wild birds it’s not much of a
problem, either.The chemical, or chemicals, used to kill them
can become a problem however. Mites are just one of the drawbacks to living outside
all the time.
old fable about red food coloring
and butterflies love nectar. However, food coloring (red or any other color)
has never, in all this time, been proven to be effective. In fact it’s
genetically harmful, having been proven to cause DNA damage. Nectar is naturally clear anyway. On hot
days, food coloring probably will introduce some tiny bits of mold or bacteria,
which will rapidly multiply in our Texas heat and affect your whole batch of
Why is it
marketed?It sells better than the
clear stuff and boosts profits, even though it hasn't been proven to work, and it might harm Hummingbirds.
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.