things you do to help backyard birds that could actually hurt them

we all want to do things to help our backyard birds, especially with increased development causing a lack of natural habitat and resources. however, there’s a few things to avoid doing because they can do more harm than good.

  • putting out pet fur as nesting material. there’s nothing wrong with this in concept - however, if you apply a topical flea and tick medication to your pet, the chemical residue from this can be in the fur and unintentionally affect the nestlings.
  • leaving birdfeeders up constantly. try to take your birdfeeders down to clean them at least every few months, preferably more. bacteria gathers in the feeders and can cause outbreaks of illnesses to visiting birds.
  • leaving out bread. a little bread is fine as a treat, but lots of bread isn’t good for birds. plus, bread easily becomes mouldy and can make birds sick if it isn’t properly disposed of.
  • offering suet year-round. suet is an awesome source of energy - in the cold months. in summer months, the suet can get melty and leave an oily residue on feathers which is almost impossible for birds to clean off. however, there are no-melt suets available!
  • filling the yard with nest boxes. nest boxes are awesome and should be used in yards with enough space and big enough trees. they’re especially great for places that don’t provide a lot of natural nesting opportunities. however, putting nest boxes too low puts babies and parent birds at a huge risk to predators. putting the box too close to a road or driveway puts the birds at risk from cars. and crowding the nest boxes too much can lead to disputes over territory (or more likely, cause the birds to just stop using the boxes until there are less birds around).
  • offering food by nest boxes. you may think you are assisting the parent birds by putting food right by the nest box. it’s great to put food out, but keep it a distance from the box! too close and it will attract other birds and predators, and in association, more attention to the nest.

Her baby never made it to the booth so far, but I am happy to see the Cardinals coming back to the booth. Doves, Grackles and Blue Jays have been a bit too effective in taking over the booth at the moment, so getting the smaller visitors every now than then is awesome.

I started birdwatching because this girl I like is really into birds and I was trying to win her over, and I succeeded but also now I’m legitimately into birdwatching and I keep getting distracted from my work by the need to run outside and look for cool birds. Watch out for the dangerous side effects of lesbianism, fellow wlw.

They are loyal visitors, but I don’t post them enough. I love Nuthatches, and there are several visiting right now that I think are young ones. I call them the “Tina bird” because their call reminds me of Tina Belcher from Bob’s Burgers :D

Photo of the Day – The Masked Trogon (Trogon personatus) is somewhat widespread across humid montane forests South America. There are eight recognised subspecies, all varying in plumage and bare parts colouration. Like other trogons, this species feeds on both insects and fruit and nests in excavated tree cavities.

This beautiful photo was taken by Adam Riley in Ecuador