Nesting season is just around the corner. A new generation of birds will soon be entering the world. The food and housing we provide can make a significant difference on how well they will thrive and survive in our own backyards. Here are two tips to help you help the birds this nesting season.
1. Offer a functional nesting box
If the bird uses a nesting box, it’s important that it meets the criteria of the proper housing situation for birds.
- Ventilation: It is important for functional houses to have good ventilation. Panels of wood that are ¾ inches thick help provide insulation from the heat; recycled plastic should be at least ½” thick. Holes near the top of the house allow for the heat to escape.
- Easy Clean Out: A side panel that opens allows for easy clean out of the nest at the end of the season which helps to keep the pest population down. (The Wild Birds Unlimited houses allow for viewing or photographing of the birds without disturbing them by offering a top opening panel.)
- Adequate Drainage:Holes at the bottom corners allow for drainage. Drainage holes in the middle of the bottom will not adequately allow for drainage.
- Perches: Perches are not necessary and actually allow sparrows and other birds a place to sit and access the hole.
- Fledgling Ladder: It is a good idea (especially for bluebird houses) to provide either slashes or a ladder to help the fledglings leave the house.
Functional boxes should fit the requirements for the kind of bird that is desired and should be mounted in a manner that is safe for that kind of bird. Learn more about our Nesting Boxes or visit your local Wild Birds Unlimited store for more information.
2. Offer foods high in calcium and protein
Calcium is the most challenging mineral for birds because when they need it, they need large quantities and they need it right away. This is mainly during nesting time for egg laying and well as chick development. The need for protein substantially increases for birds during periods of egg-laying. Obtaining a sufficient amount of protein determines the number of eggs a bird is able to produce and impacts the health of young birds.
Wild Birds Unlimited’s new Nesting SuperBlend™ is a great bird food to help you provide the essential protein & calcium needed by nesting families. This high protein seed blend is packed full of sunflower chips, peanuts, mealworms, bark butter bits, nutrasaff, tree nuts and calcium. This blend is perfect for birds getting ready to nest, while they nest and for the young when they leave the nest.
You can be a seasonally savvy bird feeder by offering your birds the food they require this nesting season.