Birds add fun to a yard and are important for insect control. They do cause a few problems with young seedlings and berries in the summer but the positive benefits of birds outweigh the bad.
If you feed the birds it will also help to keep the birds away from your other crops and small methods of bird control will help during certain growing times. Birds usually don’t cause much of a problem in my gardens.
I cover my tender seedlings with a mesh when they first come up and the birds like them the best. I planted twice as many blueberry bushes as I needed so I could share with the birds. But if you have a problem and want all your berries throw a mesh or screen over the berries and they will do fine.
I did have to laugh when my sunflower house was in full harvest. The birds found the sunflower heads were having a party! I put a few scarecrows up and turned on a radio to keep them away. I also picked a few heads and placed them 500 feet away and let the birds eat!
Here are a few tips for keeping the birds healthy and safe in your yard.
- Do not use pesticides. Even systemic pesticides accumulate in seeds and fruits that birds eat. Wherever birds seek shelter, food, and water, they will control the insects and spiders so their benefits outweigh any negatives.
- Plant coniferous evergreens to provide natural cover when other trees are bare. Shrubs are also a good protection for birds
- Use plants that are native to your area. They produce fruit at the right time for birds that live in your area.
- Provide a variety of seed and suet feeders, particularly in the fall and winter months. Birds need extra food to survive the winter and raise their young. Depending on how bad your winter is will also depend on the supply of food birds will need. There is a lot of natural wild food but severe weather can make it hard to get to.
- Place the feeders in sheltered areas protected from wind and animals.
- Provide birdhouses or boxes for nests and protection from the cold weather.
Watching birds and identifying them can add enjoyment to the yard and gardens.