Bird sanctuaries provide shelter and food to different kinds of birds. Putting up one in your yard can add appeal to your garden. But, how can you build a bird sanctuary?
When creating a bird sanctuary, you must plan everything first. Prepare the area you are eyeing for the sanctuary and replace the plants that may affect the shelter of the birds. Set up some birdbaths and bird feeders to attract birds.
This article will provide you with a guide to help you create a bird sanctuary and ways to make it bird-friendly.
Guide to Creating a Bird Sanctuary
Before you create a bird sanctuary, it is best to plan it first before you start building. Invite companions to perform the tasks and help you with the daily maintenance. While you’re starting to build the sanctuary, bear in mind to consistently execute the preservation so that the birds’ habitat is efficient.
Building a bird sanctuary in your backyard can add beauty to it. But before you start creating it, you should be aware of the things to consider. So, what do you need to do?
Planning and preparing limitations are the first steps in creating a bird sanctuary in your backyard. Before you apply these methods, you should know how big the bird habitat you are going to situate in the yard is. Also, avoid decorating and changing your yard too much just for the birds. Instead, moderately add elements for the sanctuary in a specific area of your yard.
Friends or your family can help you maintain this bird sanctuary. Aside from having a beautiful area in your garden, the whole maintenance can help you and your people bond and foster teamwork Now, go discuss the whole plan with your family members and assign each person with responsibilities to observe.
Don’t forget to discuss the reasons, disadvantages, and benefits of establishing a bird sanctuary in your backyard. With such, you can easily perceive the possible downsides of putting up such a structure.
When making a bird sanctuary, we advise you to be consistent in every aspect. If you are not consistent with the maintenance, the whole plan won’t work. You need to maintain the cleanliness and responsibility of taking care of the bird’s shelter and food at all times.
If you are passionate about taking care of birds, you can contact authorities or wildlife preservation agencies and accredit your bird sanctuary. In this way, you will officially be allowed to provide water, food, and shelter to birds. There are several rules that authorities may require a person to follow before certifying their sanctuaries.
Avoid harmful chemicals
Backyards are prone to pests, especially if you have a garden. Usually, we solve this problem by using pesticides or insecticides to eliminate insects and pests. You have to note that not all insects are harmful and that some are even helpful.
Birds are vulnerable to harmful chemicals, which may not be very healthy for them. Apart from birds, caterpillars and butterflies are also very likely to visit your backyard in the summertime. It is best to look for some alternatives on how to eliminate pests.
If you want to attract birds to your yard, you need to provide them with a reason to visit: food. Different kinds of food attract different kinds of birds. If you are looking for something that can attract a lot of different bird species, peanuts are the way to go. Here are 15 types of backyard birds that eat peanuts.
Ways to Create a Bird-friendly Sanctuary
In creating a bird-friendly sanctuary, you must allot a specific area in your backyard. Replace the invasive plants with indigenous ones and cut some grasses. Bird feeders and birdbaths are two of the most important elements that you should set up to attract birds.
Create an area for animals
Not all yards are meant to shelter animals. If you are planning to start taking care of birds in your backyard, you should designate a space for animals only. Although you may already have a garden and trees in your yard, having birds and butterflies visit your yard will make it more aesthetically pleasing to the eyes.
Since you’re dealing with birds, you can begin by hanging some containers with nests. Don’t forget to leave some nectar to attract different species of birds in your yard. If you don’t have any containers at home and want to use fancy ones, you may find some on the market.
We highly recommend that you consult an expert or read some books about how to attract birds as this topic requires in-depth knowledge. We also have a guide to attracting birds to your backyard that you might want to check out.
Remove invasive plants
Invasive plants can disturb the bird sanctuary you are planning to establish. These types of plants grow and spread quickly, which interferes with other plants or the whole ecosystem of your backyard.
Before you designate a place for birds in your backyard, make sure to remove these kinds of plants. Find out which plants these are at https://plants.usda.gov/.
Replace invasive plants with indigenous ones
If you already removed the invasive plants from your yard, it will probably look dull and incomplete. Thus, your best option is to replace them with native plants. These kinds of plants are indigenous to the area you live in.
Looking for indigenous plants won’t be difficult as they grow naturally in a specific area, meaning that it won’t be hard to maintain them as they absorb the right elements that are present at your place.
Cut some grass
This particularly applies to your lawn. This method allows you to provide some room for the birds to set foot in. Although grasses may seem to contribute to the beauty of your yard, they aren’t essential to the bird’s sanctuary.
Welcome the birds to your yard by cutting your grass. Note not to immediately cut the whole lawn, but rather, a small portion where you plan to situate the sanctuary.
Put new grasses
After cutting your lawn, you can replace it with ornamental grass. This type of grass will grow as ornamental plants. One of the best choices to put on your lawn is the Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grasses. These grasses are recognized to attract birds and have the ideal structure for your yard in any kind of season.
If you don’t have any trees in your backyard, it’s time to plant one. Trees are known to contribute a lot in terms of shelter and food for animals. Having one in your backyard can help increase the flock of birds that stay in your yard.
Bear in mind that birds are flying animals. So, expect them to rest in high places in which trees can provide the space that they need.
Birds won’t automatically flock to your sanctuary if you lack the most essential thing — food. To properly feed birds, you should put up bird feeders where you plan to establish your bird sanctuary. There are several types of feeders, the most notable ones being:
Platform feeders are similar to hopper feeders. The whole feeder structure is opened without any walls, meaning that it allows numerous birds to feed on it.
Some platform feeders have roofs for protection, but it won’t guarantee to secure the bird seeds when it rains and snows since it doesn’t possess walls.
Tube feeders have a cylindrical structure filled with holes on its side. The holes serve as the opening for the birdseed so that birds can consume it. Like other types of feeders, tube feeders are also vulnerable to the development of bacteria and molds in bird seeds.
Usually, tube feeders attract small birds rather than big ones. Some of these include titmice, sparrows, and chickadees.
This type of feeder is made of a roof, walls, and transparent sidewalls to hold the bird’s feeds. As one of the most common feeders, it is recognized as an effective attraction to birds. Its only downside is if the birdseeds get wet, which would result in the development of bacteria and fungi.
Hopper feeders can be filled with an amount of birdseed that can last for days. It is a convenient way to feed birds since you don’t have to fill it daily.
One of the most unique feeders on our list is the suet feeder. If other feeders hold bird seeds only, this kind of feeder was created to carry suet, a hard fat coming from animals’ loins and kidneys.
Nyjer or thistle socks
This kind of feeder comes in two types. A thistle sock is made of a mesh bag and tube feeder with small feeding holes. Thistle socks get easily wet when it’s raining and can thus wet the seeds stored inside them.
The most ideal way to prepare birds’ food is through a birdseed mix. Since your feeder is hanging outside, you don’t know what kind of birds will perch and feed on it. You can fill your bird feeder with a seed mixture of sunflower, safflower, nyjer, millet, cracked corn, and much more.
Aside from the aforementioned seeds, black oil sunflower seeds attract a wide range of birds. This kind of seed contains a soft shell that a bird can easily remove. It is also highly recommended during the winter.
Before you consider using certain types of seeds, note that some feeders cannot accommodate some seeds. Indeed, seeds don’t come in similar shapes and sizes, so you better consult bird feeder stores or experts in this field. Expect several types of birds to visit your backyard, so it is best to choose feeders that can cater to mixed birdseeds.
The birdseeds you would like to put in your bird feeder will give you an idea of what kind of birds will visit your yard. If you are contemplating attracting a certain bird species, then you should put seeds that will most likely lure them.
Put a water feature
You may have already hung a bird feeder in your yard but, without water, birds may just casually visit your yard. To ensure the efficiency of the bird sanctuary you will establish, we advise you to set a water feature in your yard. Some of the ideal water features you can install in your yard include:
The most common type of water feature is birdbaths. You can either avail those with a concrete or plastic structure. Concrete ones are more expensive than plastic ones.
Birdbaths are convenient to fill with water. You just leave it and birds will just visit and drink water from it. Remember to clean it regularly since it is prone to bacteria and dirt.
Misters and fountains
You can put up small misters to a birdbath to attract more birds. Fountains and misters can lure birds due to their sounds and water motions. If you don’t have a birdbath, you can install a mister to a pond.
Winter may bring cold weather to your surroundings, but providing winter birdbath to the birds may help them stay dry and encourage them to drink water. This type of birdbath can be bought in stores and online.
Prevent squirrels and chipmunks
If you think bird sanctuaries aren’t prone to pests, squirrels and chipmunks are considered your enemies. These animals target bird feeders and may compete with birds for food. The amount of birdseeds you are going to fill the feeder with may not accommodate the birds, as chipmunks and squirrels will attack it.
To avoid such occurrences, some feeders are mainly designed to prevent chipmunks and squirrels from attacking them. Some of them are proven to be effective, which can keep you from spending too much on bird seeds due to ‘pests.’
Backyards are naturally beautiful if you regularly maintain them, and putting up a bird sanctuary in yours may add to its charm. Besides, nothing beats waking up to the sweet sounds of the birds who call your backyard their home. Aside from improving the ambience of your property, setting up a bird sanctuary in your backyard also allows you to contribute to wildlife preservation.
As we have discussed in this article, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind if you want your backyard bird sanctuary to be safe and perfect for these feathered creatures. After reading this article and gaining the knowledge that you need, you can proceed with planning the creation of a bird sanctuary in your yard. Your family, especially your kids, will surely love it. If birds start visiting your garden, it will become even more fascinating.