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Attracting Birds

Using Birds to Battle Insects

There are a lot of ways to battle damaging insects on your property. The best and safest way is to provide an encouraging environment for birds to thrive and settle. Birds and other insects are natural predators to insects that can cause damage to your lawn and landscape. So do yourself and your wallet a favor. Provide a welcoming environment for birds.

Birds that eat insects:

There are quite a few, but the best or those that have diets inclusive of mostly insects are found in barn swallows, chickadees, purple martins, robins,mocking birds, nuthatches and woodpeckers. Here's a few.

Ohio Bird Predators

 
 

Three Basic Areas

To attract birds you need food, water and shelter. Sound familiar?

Food:

Get yourself two or three bird feeders and hang them in areas above the ground, close to trees and shrubs. Yes, birds will eat bird seed but that doesn't mean they won't eat your insects. They'll eat both and most will start their young in a diet consisting of mostly insects. Just remember to be consistent with the amount of seed you have available throughout the entire year. Otherwise, they'll take up residence somewhere else.

Water:

Provide water with a bird bath. Something that has an edge they can stabilize themselves on. And clean it at least once a month with a simple bleach solution. Use a half cup or 4 ounces of bleach for each gallon of water and a scrub brush. And water should not be any deeper than 3 inches.

You'll find an active fountain and the noise of splashing or dripping water attracts more birds and also prevents mosquitos from laying eggs.

A heated bird bath will keep birds from migrating in cold weather, too.

Shelter:

Set up a few bird houses in sunny areas 8 to 10 feet off the ground. These can be mounted on posts or poles. Chickadees and wrens like smaller holes as entrances and exits. These are good insect eaters. Owl boxes are also nice to have as owls not only eat insects but small rodents, too, like field mice, shrews and moles. Martin bird houses have several rooms and need to be about 15 feet high with at least 30 feet of free and open departure and arrival flying space.

They'll need to be cleaned out when and if they are vacated.

Winter houses have their entrances at the bottom of the house, keeping heat from escaping and winds at a minimal impact.

A couple three things to remember. Insect eating birds usually don't migrate so they'll need food through-out the year to stay. If you stop supplying bird seed they'll go somewhere else. Use insecticides at a minimal, if you even need them. Don't kill their source of food. And most of all, enjoy their singing. We certainly do, and we have a woodpecker who compares with the talented Buddy Rich!


 


 

 

 

 

 


 

 
 
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