You don’t need to travel far for an exciting birding experience.
Birdwatching in your own yard, whether from the window or traveling around your home or neighborhood, can yield a surprising diversity of birds. Enhancing your habitat through the use of bird-friendly landscaping, the addition of bird feeders and baths, and even nest boxes, can further transform your yard into a haven for wildlife. Check out the resources below for ideas on how to safely welcome birds to your home.
ECAS Guide to Nesting Boxes, Bird Feeders, and More
This useful guide, compiled by Jim Anderson specifically for East Cascades Audubon Society, will teach you how to add bird nesting boxes to your landscape for a variety of birds including owls, swallows, bluebirds, woodpeckers, and more. The guide also provides information about how to build and install bat boxes, butterfly shelters, and bird feeders.
Not all gardens are created equal when it comes to birds. You can transform your landscape and create bird habitat right in your own yard by keeping in mind a few key principles. Check out these articles and websites to get started:
- Portland Audubon: Making your Outdoor Space Welcoming to Birds and Beneficial Insects
- Portland Audubon & Columbia Land Trust: Backyard Habitat Certification Program
- Oregon State University: Feed Birds in Winter with Berry-bearing Plants
- Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife: Naturescaping
Bird Feeders & Baths
Installing bird feeders and baths around your home can be a very rewarding experience for both birds and birders! For the beginner however, you may find yourself having to choose among an overwhelming variety of products on the market – bird feeders, food, baths, accessories such as mounting systems and baffles, cleaning products, and even storage solutions for your bird seed. If you are lucky enough to have a specialty bird store such as Wild Birds Unlimited in your area, an in-person visit will allow you to view many of the different options and talk with knowledgeable people about what will work best in your yard.
If you are going to place bird feeders and baths in your yard, you will also want to commit to cleaning the feeders and baths on a regular basis to prevent disease transmission, such as Salmonella, among wild birds. For cleaning tips, check out this blog post from local wildlife rehabilitator, Native Bird Care and Rescue.
Preventing Bird Window Strikes
If you are inviting birds to your landscape through the use of bird feeders and baths you will want to make sure those same birds aren’t susceptible to striking your windows. Windows may become invisible to birds when they reflect the sky or foliage outdoors. Window strikes can often be fatal to birds, cause internal bleeding or bruising, or temporarily stun the bird and make it vulnerable before it can fly away. The best way to prevent bird strikes is to mark your windows to make them more visible to birds. Markings such as paint, decals, tape, ropes, screens, netting, and films, can be effective when appropriately applied to windows. For detailed information on how to prevent bird strikes with these methods, check out the links below: