Florida springtime weather is so lovely. It’s not too hot or humid yet, and the rainy season is still a few months away. This is the best time of year for all kinds of activities here in the sunny South. Many of us will spend a lot of time outdoors walking, hiking, biking, picnicking and, of course, sunbathing. I love gardening and just spending time in my backyard.
Since spring is breeding season for many birds, this is a great time of year to go birdwatching. As an avid birdwatcher, I’m always concerned about the safety of these beautiful creatures. Here are some tips to help protect birds no matter where you live or what time of year it is:
Don’t feed bread to birds:
Bread or crackers are not healthy for birds and ducks. According to the National Audubon Society, bread fills up birds without giving them any essential nutrients. This leaves them vulnerable to illness and disease.
Help keep birds from flying into windows
Every year millions of birds die because they crash into windows. Under certain lighting conditions, windows can appear to be open spaces. Often they reflect the sky and foliage, which also adds to the problem.
Help prevent birds from crashing into windows by taking a few steps:
- Partially close blinds or curtains so as to break up the pattern of reflection in the window.
- Move indoor plants away from windows to avoid attracting birds.
- Hang shiny objects in front of windows (like decals or sun catchers) or cover windows with netting to help make the area more visible to birds.
- Keep bird feeders at least 25 feet away from windows. If the feeder is too close to a window and a bird becomes startled and flees in a hurry, it may crash into the window.
Keep cats in the house
Pet cats kill a large number of birds and other creatures because they are natural predators. If at all possible make your pet cat a house cat. If you do let your cat outside, try to limit these trips to after dark when most birds are roosting safely in the tops of trees (as long as you feel comfortable letting your cat out).
Periodically clean out your bird feeders
About once a month, take apart your birdfeeders and hand wash them with soap and hot water. Use a scrub brush to remove any sticky dirt. Be sure to use rubber gloves. If you notice any mold, use 1 part bleach to 10 parts water combination to clean the feeder. Rinse and dry thoroughly.
Protect all your wildlife visitors
Use only natural pesticides and herbicides in your yard. Not only are these chemicals bad for you and the environment, they are bad for the creatures that visit your home.
Whether you’re out and about or close to home, this is a good time to enjoy nature and wildlife. Remember to pay attention to all the Earth’s lovely creatures and keep them safe.
Related: Eco-Friendly Landscaping Practices
If you have any tips to help keep birds and wildlife safe, please share them in the comments section!
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