Gardening Articles: Health :: Garden Crafts

Bird Feeder Basics (page 2 of 2)

by Lynn Ocone

Fall Cleanup and Birds

Fall Cleanup and Birds
Summer or winter, a trickle of water is a magnet to many kinds of birds

Birds have four basic needs: food, water, shelter from predators and the elements, and safe nesting places. In addition to setting out feeders to provide food, starting this fall and winter you can help birds meet their needs in the following ways.

As you clean up, leave a brush pile that birds can use for cover. Also leave seeds and fruits on plants such as sunflowers (for jays and chickadees); cosmos, chicory and evening primrose (for goldfinches); and grapes (for cedar waxwings).

Provide fresh water in a shallow container. Water should be no more than two inches deep. In winter, it is especially important to keep the water ice-free by changing it frequently or by using an immersion-type water heater designed for outdoor use.

Landscapes with abundant trees and shrubs, and a relatively small lawn, are most attractive to birds. To enhance your garden with plants that provide natural food shelter, develop a landscape plan this winter in preparation for spring planting.

Lynn Ocone is a gardener and bird-watcher who lives in Burlington, Vermont.

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