Feeding Wild Birds, What Kind of Seed?

Commercial bird seed comes in a variety of mixtures. Cheaper mixtures will contain large amounts of buckwheat, rice, oats, milo, flax, rape seed, cracked corn and canary seed.

What the birds really want to eat is black oil sunflower seeds. To avoid the mess of sunflower hulls, many people decide to spend a bit more and buy the hulled sunflower seeds containing only the “hearts” or “chips” of the sunflower.

If you buy a mixture of seeds, you may find that birds scatter most of the seeds on the ground, trying to get at the sunflower seeds. It is better to place these mixtures in a flat platform feeder, rather that in a hopper type feeder. There will be less waste and fewer seeds will wind up on the ground. Seeds on the ground will attract doves and some birds, but they will also attract mice, raccoons and other critters you may not want at your feeder.

If you are going to feed wild birds you need to continue to do it at least through winter until spring. If the birds become dependent on your feed they may forgo other resources in favor of the easy food you provide.

The Premiere Bird Sanctuary of Ohio

Ohio Bird Sanctuary is a private non-profit organization that was founded in 1988. The Sanctuary was originally run from the private farm of Chris & Gail Laux.

It started off as just three small enclosures, but over the next 10 years four flight cages were designed and built to condition recovering raptors for release and additional enclosures were constructed to house the growing educational collection.

The Ohio Bird Sanctuary is a safe space for all Ohio’s native birds. It is also a nature preserve and a “living museum”. The dedicated team cares for and rehabilitates Ohio native birds and protect the natural habitat.

They also are creating opportunities to explore nature. The achieve this through educating the public and by providing family-friendly and school-based programs. They also do this by managing a 90 acre preserve and caring for sick and injured birds.

The sanctuary is open Saturdays at 1PM for Bird Encounters. Get a chance to meet an owl up close; watch hawks soar over their handles and land safely on the handler’s arm. The programs vary each week according to the season, however, there is always a chance to meet the birds up close

How to Attract Birds to Your Yard in Summer

Attracting birds to your yard during winter is usually a simple matter of providing food. However, attracting a variety of birds to frequent your yard in summer can be a bit more of a trick. Here are some simple tips for getting your feathered friends to stick around.

The basics are simple: provide shelter, safety, food and water.

As for shelter, it only makes sense that birds are going to prefer native trees and shrubs for shelter and the greater diversity of native plants in your yard will attract a greater variety of birds to your yard. If you are looking to attract a specific kind of bird do your research on the plant-shelter they prefer.

Domestic cats probably pose the most harm to birds in Ohio as far as predatory species. If you have an outdoor cat, consider putting a bell on their collar or building them a catio. In the case of free roaming or feral cats in your yard the best route is building fencing to keep them out. If ferals are trapped, neutered and taken to a shelter new ferals are likely to move into the area though this is an option.

Additionally, you’ll want to reduce the instance of mosquitos if you can. It is recommended you use pesticide to do this rather just remove standing water.  Mosquitos do carry diseases that affect birds.

For food, planting native trees and shrubs that bear flowers or provide food for insects the birds will eat are a great option or native plants that provide seeds or fruit. During certain times of year birds, like migration, birds are going to prefer native foods over anything else.

Providing a water source is the easiest chore. Ideally a water source should be elevated, placed in an open area where they won’t be surprised by predators, and filled with about an inch of water are perfect. The water source should be changed and rinsed regularly to reduce mosquitos.

You should realize that by creating an ideal habitat for birds also creates an ideal habitat for predator species like snakes and some hawks as well.  By inviting birds you may be extending an invitation to other critters as well.

The Ohio Bird Sanctuary, Mansfield OH

The Ohio Bird Sanctuary is a safe space for all Ohio’s native birds. It is also a nature preserve and a “living museum”. The dedicated team cares for and rehabilitates Ohio native birds and protect the natural habitat. They also are creating opportunities to explore  nature. The achieve this through educating the public and by providing family-friendly and  school-based programs. They also do this by managing a 90 acre preserve and caring for sick and injured birds.

Ohio Bird Sanctuary is a private non-profit organization that was founded in 1988. The Sanctuary was originally run from the private farm of Chris & Gail Laux. It started off as just three small enclosures, but over the next 10 years four flight cages were designed and built to condition recovering raptors for release and additional enclosures were constructed to house the growing educational collection.

The sanctuary is open Saturdays at 1PM for Bird Encounters. Get a chance to meet an owl up close; watch hawks soar over their handles and land safely on the handler’s arm. The programs vary each week according to the season, however, there is always a chance to meet the birds up close.

 

“Biggest Week of American Birding” Oregon, OH

Black Swamp Bird Observatory hosts the “biggest week in American birding” May 5th to 14th in Oregon, OH.

Activities include guided tours through Magee Marsh and the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge. The birds do their part by delighting and dazzling people who traveled here from all over the world. Last year a record number of visitors came from 46 states and at least 13 countries to enjoy the spectacular birding that northwest Ohio is becoming famous for.

The festival will also include keynote speakers, conservation discussion, workshops and other programing feature at a variety of locations.