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and life along the winding road

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Wild Birds

Our local Benbrook Library often has free events and last month there were speakers from a nursery, a feed store and The Wild Bird Center. Each of the speakers spoke of the summer drought conditions and how we can help our feathered friends. 

We were urged to be careful what food we are putting out as many of the home improvement chains sell bird seed that is little more than filler and 95% of the bags contain inedible seeds.  

The most popular food that the birds enjoy is Sunflower (black oil sunflower seeds), Safflower and peanuts.

Texas plants to attract birds:

For nectar:
Turk's cap
Desert willow

We were also warned against using anything with red food dye which can be harmful. Fill the hummingbird feeders with 1 part sugar to 4 parts water and heat until clear. Replace every 3-4 days.

Provide birds with shallow water for both drinking and bathing. If the water is too deep, put some rocks in so that there is a shallow place for the birds to stand. Use a flower pot turned upside down with a drainage saucer on top for a quick bird bath.

The wild birds are looking for shelter and if you have an abundance of trees and bushes you are more likely to attract many types of birds.


Vickie said...

The landscaping we do is almost specifically for birds and bees. We xeriscape and still have gorgeous foliage and blooms like agastache, Russian sage, lavender, salvias, sunflowers, etc. The finches have been having a field day dining on the sunflower seeds and the hummingbirds and bees have been getting into all of the blooms. We have two birdbaths we keep fresh each day. It's so smokin' hot here in Denver/Boulder, we want to do what we can to help the wildlife.

Love the photo of the cardinal. I miss them since we don't see them here in our area. I get my fix when I go home to Kansas.

Karen Harrington said...

Wow, I had no idea the seed you could easily buy was mostly filler. :( Nice to see some activity to help our wildlife during this drought. Stay cool!

Patty Ann said...

Oh, that red bird is beautiful. Love to see what you are doing to help! We also have food out for the birds here, and try to keep a birdbath filled at least once a day. It doesn't take much water and they really love it. I just wish the skunks didn't love it too!

Shelby said...

thanks for stopping by!

K9friend said...

Nothing prettier than a brilliant red cardinal! those are some great tips...thanks for sharing!


Joanne said...

we have a lot of salvia, but even it is looking a bit wilted in this heat. Thanks for the post and I hope the birds survive this drought. It's crazy

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Such a pretty Cardinal. I trying to become a real birder!

Judy Croome said...

I feed our wild birds with a mixture of fruit, bread and a seed tower I buy from a local feed supplier. Now you've got me wondering whether that feed is adequate. The birds seem to love it as in winter they finish a tower a day. (almost bankrupt me!) We have an indigenous garden so in summer a lot of the birds just eat from the trees and bushes. I love having a busy garden! And we saw an owl the other night in my Mom's garden!
Judy, South Africa

Helen Ginger said...

Great reminders. I need to go fill the bird bath. If only we could keep the squirrel out of the bird feeder!