6 Gifts Birds are “Tweeting” about this Holiday SeasonThere are many fun and practical gifts you can provide your backyard birds to keep them happy, healthy and coming back every holiday season. See what’s at the top of this year’s wish list for birds.
1. A cozy hangout
Natural nooks and crannies offer our feathered friends protection from harsh weather and predators. Shrubs and evergreen trees are ideal. Leaves and sticks can be piled up in a remote corner of the yard to be used as shelter or as nesting material. A simple birdhouse or nesting box can be hung from your porch, deck or fence. Learn how to choose the right birdhouse.
2. A way to wet their whistle
All birds need water, particularly in the winter when many natural water sources are frozen and inaccessible. Choosing a heated bird bath or extra heater accessory for your existing bird bath will provide liquid water for the birds, so they will not need to spend precious calories on melting snow or ice. Furthermore, having water available in your yard year-round will attract a wider range of birds. Find out more about providing water to wildlife in winter.
3. A shiny new feederGiving your backyard birds a new birdfeeder for the holidays opens up new dining options for them to enjoy. Not only will a new feeder keep seed dry and fresh better than a worn feeder, but an extra feeder will reduce competition and aggression from birds and allow more individuals to feed easily. Be sure to clean your birdfeeders every couple of weeks to reduce the risk of spreading diseases. Use a 2:1 mixture of hot water and distilled white vinegar. Rinse and dry thoroughly before refilling.
4. A few good meals
Birds need extra energy and calories during the winter to keep warm and healthy. They can get that energy best from higher quality birdseed like black oil sunflower seed. For an extra holiday treat, buy a seed bell, decorative seed wreath or other novelty seed sculpture for the birds. Or, help the kiddies make these cute suet ornaments. Here are ten simple tips for successful winter bird feeding.
5. A clearly marked no-fly zone
According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, more birds die because of collisions with glass than any other factor associated with human activity. Anywhere from 100 million to 1 billion birds are killed by window strikes each year. One way to deter birds from flying into windows is to buy specialty window decals. Or, decorate the windows with nature ornaments by following these easy step-by-step instructions.
6. A Certified Wildlife Habitat
Habitat destruction is a huge threat to birds, so they’re always looking for an inviting place to stop by or call home. Food, water and shelter and places to raise young are essential to the survival of backyard birds and other wildlife, and gardens certified through NWF’s Garden for Wildlife program provide just that. The perfect gift of the birder or gardener on your list would be to certify their yard or garden through a gift certification. They’ll join the elite group of wildlife gardeners with an NWF certified habitat, and their neighborhood birds will benefit too. (Don’t forget to certify your own garden too!)
Become a Wildlife Gardener with National Wildlife Federation. It’s free and you’ll get great wildlife gardening tips and learn how to certify your garden as an official habitat.