Inside:  To feed amazing local birds is a treat for both the young and old. Bird feeders are fabulous to have as part of your landscape year round.

What I wouldn’t give to sip a cup of my favorite brew, look out my window and see dinosaurs gallivanting in my back yard.  Is it possible?  What if I told you it was not only possible but seriously so simple.  You will gasp to know how truly easy it is to share your afternoon coffee with dinosaurs!

So…how easy is it?  How, you’re asking, do I attract dinosaurs to my backyard?  They’re extinct right?  Well, the big guys are that’s for sure.  You won’t be seeing a T-rex or Apatosaurus peering in your window scaring the fur off of your ferocious puppy.  But, here’s a fact many don’t know.  Dinosaurs didn’t really go extinct.  I mean, some species did disappear and thank goodness for that or you wouldn’t likely be here reading this post.  The latest theory from dinosaur diggers is that some dinosaurs, like the T-rex and Velociraptor had feathers.  These dinos it is strongly suspected, evolved into birds.Birds are dinosaurs in disguise! Click To Tweet

So again, how easy is it to attract the surviving dinosaurs….or birds as we fondly refer to them now?  It’s as simple as putting up a bird feeder or two.

To feed amazing local birds is a great experience for both the young and old. Bird feeders are fabulous to have as part of your landscape year round Having a cup of coffee and sitting at your favorite nook by a window, it is a treat to see feathered neighbors feasting on the treats left in your feeder.

Winter is a crucial time to feed our feathered friends as food supplies are often low, especially during a harsh, snowy season.  However, many of us love to watch birds year round.  I am often sitting on my deck near the watching the feeding behaviors of bold goldfinches and chickadees..Bird feeders are fabulous to have as part of your landscape year round. Click To Tweet

Some will tell you to remove those feeders by the end of spring. But there are some compelling reasons to keep those feeders up year round to feed amazing local birds.

  1. Birds make fabulous garden assistants.

    • The birds that are attracted to your feeders will also eat weed seeds.  In doing so, they can greatly reduce the number of unwanted weeds that sprout in your garden.
    • As well, many birds that eat seeds will also munch on grubs and insects that feast on your fruits and vegetables.  By putting up bird feeders you are attracting your own, natural pest control.
  2. Year-round bird feeders allow you to see the different species that visit over the course of a year.

    • Different species of birds can be seen in winter vs summer.  Orioles and hummingbirds are frequent visitors during spring and summer but migrate during the winter months and are absent from your feeders if you live in northern climates.
  3. Year-round feeders allow you to see colorful breeding plumage absent from most birds during winter months.

    • Goldfinch males especially become bright yellow in spring and summer.  They are a delight for me every year and I often have dozens at a time visiting my feeders.  Many sparrow and finch males also have deeper colors during breeding season.
  4. Feeding birds makes you feel better.

    • Watching birds during the dismal, grey winter months can boost your spirit and fight SAD (seasonal affective disorder).  Those working at assisted living homes find that having bird feeders where patients can view them boosts their spirits.
    • Providing birds with food is an act of kindness which in itself is a mood booster.  For many it gives a sense of purpose during the act of cleaning and filling feeders.
  5. Adult birds often introduce their fledglings to your feeders.

    • It is an amazing sight to see adult birds but even more rewarding to see them bring their offspring to their favorite feeding stations.  Seeing new fledglings, chubby and cute, is a mood booster any way you look at it.
  6. Warmer spring and summer temperatures are an added incentive to keep summer bird feeders.

    • With warmer temperatures you are more likely to be sitting on your deck and patio.  Birds will grow confident with regular human visitors.  They will visit your feeders allowing you a close-up view of your avian friends.  If you are really patient, you may get some eating right out of your hand!
  7. Bird feeders play a crucial role in areas where the natural food sources are disappearing.

    • Human development is reducing or removing food sources for many birds.  Trees and wild flowers and plants supply much of the food resources for wild birds.  Much of the natural plant life is removed when people move in.  Trees and shrubs also give cover from predators and create habitat for many bird species. When they are removed, birds often disappear.
    • Back-yard bird feeders are an important tool in bird conservation.  When paired with nest boxes and bird houses, conservation efforts are doubled.
    • Bluebird populations were in serious trouble.  They live in or near dead trees.  The softer, decaying wood was full of insects and provided nesting cavities for the birds.  Homeowners tend to remove dead and dying trees, thus removing the bluebird habitat. A push by conservationists promoting back-yard bluebird houses has resulted in a good improvement of bluebird populations.  Here in south central Ontario I am often delighted by visits from these beautiful birds.
  8. Feeding birds is a great way to bond with children.

    • Watching and maintaining bird feeders is a marvelous experience for children.
    • They learn about a different birds by watching their behavior at the feeders.
      • Colors and plumage of birds
      • What foods/seeds are preferred by each bird type.
      • What seasons they are likely to see the birds and why
      • Feeding habits of various bird species – grab and go of smaller birds vs the dominant feeding behavior of the larger birds
    • They learn responsibility through the filling and cleaning of feeders.
    • They learn the value of conservation.
  9. Feeding birds is incredibly easy.

    • It can be as simple as putting seed on a patio or on a platform.  We did this at our first home and we were always delighted by the antics of dozens of birds at the feeder.
    • Once your feeders are up, you simply check them each day and refill when empty.  They also should be cleaned once or twice a season at least to prevent the spread of disease.
  10. It is fun and shows great stewardship to make bird feeders from recycled materials.

    • There are dozens of designs and instructions on Pinterest and other sites making use of recycled materials to make bird feeders.  It is a great activity to do with your kids or students or to exercise your own creative energy.

Bird feeders are a great way to feed amazing local birds Click To TweetBird feeders are a great way to feed amazing local birds.  It is a wonderful hobby that can bring a lot of joy and relaxation to your life.  It’s great for your garden and it is not expensive to keep up.  Bring some beauty into your life all the time by keeping your bird feeders up year round.

And next time you see that cute title chickadee or sparrow, admire its inner beast.  Remember, birds are dinosaurs in disguise!

 

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