A bird house is one type of home with a view that comes with no mortgage! With spring in full bloom, we’re sharing some backyard birding tips, as well as information on birdseed and how to make a bird feeder or birdhouse. This spring and summer, create a safe and happy haven for birds, and enjoy your new feathered friends!
A feast for a finch
Feeding wildlife is generally frowned upon, but backyard birds are an exception. You can feed birds guilt-free because they don’t become reliant on feeders. Feeders should be cleaned on a regular basis, placed near but not too close to trees or shrubs, and at least four metres away from windows to help keep birds safe. Choose high-quality seeds such as sunflower or niger seeds instead of seed mixed with oats, rice, corn, or wheat, which can attract pests and provide fewer nutrients to birds. Look for birdseed that is suited to the birds in your area at your local garden or hardware store.
Build it and they shall come
Birdhouses are another option for attracting feathered visitors to your yard. Birds that nest in a natural nook, such as a tree cavity (such as chickadees or bluebirds), may choose a birdhouse if one is available. If you’re not sure what kind of birds might live in your yard, use the NestWatch Right Bird, Right House tool to look for feathered tenants and learn about their housing needs.
Build a DIY birdfeeder with the kids
Make this easy DIY bird feeder project with the kids using items you probably already have around the house! Cleaning out a used milk carton and cutting out two squares on opposite sides of the carton are the first steps. Allow the carton to dry before painting it a colour of your choice and adding shingles to the roof with popsicle sticks. Make two small holes on either side of the carton and insert a wooden dowel or plant stick to provide a place for birds to stand. Make sure to keep an eye on your homemade bird feeder and, if necessary, replace or repair it.
If you’re worried about pesky critters like squirrels or chipmunks being attracted to your birdfeeder, this list of DIY hacks can ‘squirrel-proof’ your creation and leave the feed for the intended audience: the birds.
Tea for two and two for tea
This teacup bird feeder is fun to make, easy to put together, and will look lovely in any backyard. Begin by selecting a lovely teacup and saucer from your own collection, or go to a thrift store to find one. Before letting it dry, adhere the cup to the saucer with craft glue (like e6000) and a glue gun, then hang it up with twine. Fill the teacup with your favourite seed and wait for the birds to arrive for an afternoon tea party hosted by you.
Birdhouses that keep up with the trends
A-frames are making a comeback, and this one for backyard birds will stand out in your garden. A handheld drill, craft knife, glue, a wooden dowel, birch wood, and balsa wood are all needed for this modern birdhouse DIY, which can be found at a hardware store. Because the wood can be cut with a craft knife and then assembled with glue—no saw or nails required—building this birdhouse is simple for anyone of any skill level.
Leave it to the pros (and the crows)
Preassembled birdhouses can be found for as little as a few dollars at craft stores like Michaels. For a natural look that will weather in your yard, leave the birdhouse bare. Use non-toxic paint or stain to add colour to this kid-friendly DIY that doesn’t require any tools or glue. Use sandpaper to go over painted or stained surfaces to let the wood show through for a natural but colourful birdhouse. Watch the birds flock to your yard by hanging a single or coordinated group of feeders.
Whether you put up a birdhouse or a bird feeder in your yard this spring, you’ll love seeing who comes to visit. Set up a camera and watch who comes by if you really want to know who is coming to visit!