In this week’s “Let’s Ask Sandy” episode, store owner, Sandy Shull, talks about how to prepare for the return of your backyard birds. Spring is almost here!
Hi! This is Sandy from Birds & Beasleys. Believe it or not, spring will be coming. There are birds that are already starting to nest. If you look up on my monitor at explore.org, Bald Eagles are now starting to nest, that happens to be one in Iowa. We will be looking at Ospreys coming soon and there are birds that will be coming back to nest. So, you need to get ready for them.
So, the first thing that you need to do is go out and look at your houses in the next month. What you want to do is open them up, if you can. I like the side one that we have, a lot of the tops come off, it’s time to see what spent the winter in there. Go ahead and take the nesting material out. See if it happens to be clean, you could take off just the top part, usually, in the spring, I take it all out. You are going to want to dispose of it. Don’t drop it right below the house because your predators, like your skunks and raccoons, will smell that nesting material and look up an see the box. So, take that material and dispose of it far away. But you want to check it out because in the winter sometimes, mice, other rodents, birds, will use this box for winter, so clean it out and get ready to go. It’s simple as that.
Then start thinking about nesting material. There are some birds that use boxes, like your bluebirds, your swallows, your sparrows. There are other birds that don’t use boxes, like the robin, the Bald Eagle, and some of your finches and things. So they will want nesting material, as well as some of them in boxes. We have a neat little thing that comes from the flathead, this has alpaca fur, you could use dog fur, kitty fur, you could use dryer lent, just don’t put the Bounce or the fabric softener in there. If you are doing your dog beds or you’re doing your towels, run the dryer and get the lint out of the lint trap, but just don’t put the Bounce with it that time. You might be a little bit staticky, but the birds will be healthier for it. So, other people take yarn, I had a rancher friend who took scraps of yarn and put it all over the ranch and in winter or spring, she would go out and look in the trees for the yarn to see which birds had used her yarn.
It is time. Believe it or not, it is spring. Think about cleaning out your bird boxes and then we will talk about bird boxes later.