Share Your Yard with God’s Feathered Creatures

The National Wildlife Federation has tips for you to keep your yard, garden, or balcony bustling all year long by providing a cozy abode for birds. Bluebirds, chickadees, screech owls, some woodpeckers, and other birds nest in tree cavities or birdhouses in spring. Providing shelter is one of the key elements to ensuring your yard is a welcoming space for wildlife.

Here are 4 ideas for luring birds in—and helping them out!

Try a prefabricated box.

Look for boxes where the entrance holes are near the bottom instead of in the middle or near the top. The idea is that hot air rises, so a low entrance hole keeps warm air from leaking out.

Leave nest boxes up all winter.

Some evidence suggests roosting birds prefer boxes mounted 10 feet high or more in winter—possibly because birds feel safer up high.

Winterize your birdhouse.

If reusing a spring nest box that has large ventilation holes (which keep the summer sun from overheating the interior), consider blocking them to keep out the draft. Don’t seal the box up too tight though, since most birds like to check out a roost box before calling it home.

Protect the box from predators.

Since most bird predators can climb trees and wooden posts, opt for a metal pole to mount the box instead.

You can make your outdoor space as an official Certified Wildlife Habitat site. Check out the National Wildlife Federation website for more information: www.nwf.org