Inland Northwest, High Desert

December, 2003
Regional Report

Making Fast Food for Birds

Woodpeckers, especially, like suet. Make a quick suet/seed feeder with a pine cone and some lard or melted suet. Dip the pine cone in the melted fat, then roll in millet. Wrap a wire around the first couple of rows of leaves and securely fasten to a tree branch. Substitute peanut butter for the lard for a change of taste.

Squirrel-Proof Your Feeder

Make sure your feeder does not sit under a tree branch or other structure. Squirrels can jump from about 8 feet away. Slip a split PVC or sheet metal cylinder around the pole holding your feeder up. Either of those materials will keep squirrels and cats away because the surface is so slippery they can\'t get a claw into them.

Plant Barberries For Bird Retreats

Consider planting barberries. They offer bright berries for the birds to enjoy, and a haven from hawks. Small birds can easily flit from one branch to the next, but hawks are just too big to go in after them through all those thorns.

Make a Crash Protector for Your Windows

Cut out the portion of an old lace tablecloth, the one you were going to throw away because of that stain. Stretch it into a large embroidery hoop, trim the edges even with the hoop. Hang it by a thread from your window casing. Birds will see it and know they shouldn't try to fly through the window.

Sow Perennials

Here's a list of perennials to plant that will grow a lot of food for song birds: columbines, coreopsis, foxgloves, purple coneflowers, California poppies, gloriosa daisies, goldenrod, and of course, yarrow.

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