Making Your Garden An Inviting Habitat For Birds

Birds are amazing creatures and they are simply entertaining to watch and listen to. No wonder, a lot of people are encouraged to keep birds in cages so they can watch these beautiful flying creatures closely. However, you can still enjoy birds and their songs without locking them up in a cage. If you have a garden, you can recreate this space into a welcoming oasis where birds can fuel up and take refuge. Below are some useful tips to get you started.

Know the birds and their needs

The first step that you have to take is to know what types of birds frequent in your area. Find out about the plants that have the food they need. The more you know about them, the easier for you to give them what they need. At the most, birds require accessible food sources, water and places to make their nests. They do not like places where predators are lurking. So be sure to keep these things in mind when you tend to your garden.

Think variety

Just like people, different birds have different food preferences. Some birds eat seeds, some love fruits, while others feast on insects or nectar. Hence, if you want to attract a wide array of birds into your garden, consider growing a number of plant varieties–combine flowers, ground covers, fruit-bearing trees and shrubs. The greater the mix of vegetation you can give, the greater variety of birds will be enticed to hang out in your garden.

Layer the look

Birds love to congregate in environments with multi-tiered and densely packed arrangements of plants. So when planting, aim for a tiered effect. For instance, you can put larger trees at the borders, followed by lower trees, fruiting shrubs, and clumps of bushes and vines, then tall grasses, blooms and ground covers. This is a pleasing composition that mimics nature and will supply sustenance, refuge and protection to different kinds of birds year in and year out.

Keep bird feeders year-round

All too often, homeowners bring out their bird feeders during cold months when birds spend nearly all their time and energy seeking for food. This should not be the case in your garden, though. Keep feeders filled for spring and summer, too, so that you will get patrons year-round. As an added bonus, you’ll get to enjoy the colorful plumage of birds while you sit back and relax in your garden.

Quench their thirst

Birds get thirsty, too. So aside from the plants, provide them a source of water as well. You can use birdbaths around your landscape to give your flying visitors splashy spots where they can drink and bathe. Just make sure that each basin is just two inches deep so that birds can easily drink and they should also have a rough surface for better grip.

To protect the birds from lurking predators while they drink and bathe, position the birdbaths a few feet from shrubs or trees so that the immediate perimeter is open, but close enough to sheltered areas where they can easily getaway. Likewise, always keep the birdbaths clean and add fresh water daily. You can also outfit them with birdbath heaters so that they would still be accessible to birds during winter. To further invite birds, you may also use bubblers and misters along with birdbaths.

Hang houses

Nesting pairs will find refuge in your garden if you include birdhouses in the landscape. The placement and the size of holes of the birdhouses will depend on the type of species you are trying to invite. For instance, wrens love to nest in areas surrounded by trees, but other birds like purple martins prefer raising their broods in big, open areas.

To prevent territorial disputes, build the birdhouses away from feeding stations and each box should have a space of a minimum of 25 feet in between. Also, choose sturdy materials when building and securing the boxes in place. It is recommended to stay away from using nesting boxes with perches as they are a magnet for pest birds.

This guest post was written by Ericka for Lothian Skip Hire, a premier skip hire in Falkirk. Ericka has been writing articles about a wide variety of topics for some years now. However, she is particularly interested in providing helpful posts about gardening, outdoor living and home improvement.






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Did you know the Sago Palm is toxic to pets?

676138.jpg I just received a new edition of my ASPCA newsletter and one article in particular caught my eye. It was about the increased incidence of pets being poisoned by the Sago Palm. This plant can also be quite toxic to young children.

The Sago Palm is common in warm climates, but it’s become more popular in Northern homes as a houseplant. The plant is native to Southern Japan. It’s an attractive plant with dark green leaves and a hairy trunk.

Since 2003, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center has seen an increase in cases of Sago palm and Cycad poisonings by more than 200 percent. APCC data also reveals that 50 percent to 75 percent of those cases resulted in fatalities.

sago-palm.jpg A chemical in the plant called cycasin is toxic and often causes permanent liver damage as well as neurological damage if enough of the poison is absorbed by the body. The seeds are the most poisonous part of the plant, although all parts of this plant are toxic, and the effects on humans are seizures, coma and death. Of course the seeds are an attractive reddish color so children and possible curious pets might be drawn to the plant.

Clinical signs of toxic poisoning are vomiting, melena (blood in stool), Jaundice, increased thirst, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, bruising and later liver damage, liver failure and death.

If you have young children or pets in your home and you’d like to check to see if your house or garden plants are toxic you can take a look at this list of Toxic Plants. There’s also a list of non-toxic plants that you might also want to look at if you are planning on adding more plants to your collection.

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