Monday, April 12, 2010

Bring on the birds - Simple solutions to turn your backyard into an avian oasis

(ARA) - Who doesn't love spring? Flowers bloom, trees bud and bright songbirds return to the area. The renewed resurgence of radiant life may make you want to get in on the action.

But if gardening's not your thing and you just don't see yourself as the type to go on a long outdoor hike, you can still engage in spring's revelry and bring beautiful birds to your own backyard. Convincing songbirds and favorites like hummingbirds to visit your yard is as simple as providing them with plentiful sources of food, water and nesting material.

The avian experts at Songbird Essentials, a leading provider of accoutrements and food for outdoor birds of all species, offer a few tips for attracting some popular, picturesque feathered friends to your neighborhood:

Birds need to eat a lot to survive every day. While natural food sources are plentiful in warmer months, they're just as happy to dine at your backyard buffet. You can attract delightful birds like yellow goldfinches, orioles and hummingbirds with the right mix of food and feeder types.

Start out by overlooking a few dandelions when you're weeding your yard. Goldfinches love dandelion seed. They also like company when they eat and will dine in large groups. Look for feeders, like the Three Tube Finch Feeder, that allow 24 or more birds to perch and dine at the same time. The Three Tube Finch Feeder certainly sets the stage for a spectacular show!

Orioles, with their glossy black coats trimmed in bright orange or yellow, will fill your backyard with distinctive whistles and songs. They migrate at night and arrive in your neighborhood tired, cold and hungry, so if you wait until you actually see them to put out food, you might miss them altogether. Set out oranges, sliced in half with the juicy side out, before you see the first oriole of the season. Or try feeding them all new BirdBerry Jelly, a human grade product that's better for the birds. It's all natural - no preservatives - and is lower in sugar content than most jellies. The unique grape/blackberry flavor attracts orioles and other species and keeps them coming back for more.

Try using a feeder like Songbird Essentials' Grand Slam Oriole Feeder made of recycled plastic. It holds four orange halves and has two serving bowls for jelly. Other birds that love jelly include woodpeckers, robins and warblers.

Hummingbirds, while not great singers, are among the most intriguing and adorable birds to watch. Nearly every region of the U.S. has at least one native species of these tiny, speedy little birds. There are several ways you can tempt them into your yard; try these tips:

* Provide plenty of nectar feeders - the more the merrier. Dr. J.B.'s Hummingbird Feeder is a good choice; it is dishwasher safe and easy to clean, has an extra wide mouth for easy filling and is bee resistant. Bob Sergeant, president of the Hummer Bird Study Group, the world's largest association dedicated to the study and preservation of hummingbirds, simply says; "This is the best hummingbird feeder ever!" Plus, the hummers love it.

* Be sure hummers see red. Plant red open-throated plants. Or, if planting is not possible, tie a big red bow in your yard near your feeder.

* Let the water flow. Hummingbirds prefer moving water sources like sprinklers, fountains, waterfalls, misters or drippers. Attract hummingbirds by keeping water sources fresh and clean and positioning them near food sources.

* Provide natural nesting material. Hummingbirds won't nest in birdhouses or nesting boxes, they build their cup-shaped nests in trees. Encourage nesting by providing materials like Hummer Helper Nesting Material, recommended by the Hummingbird Society of North America. An all-natural product, Hummer Helper comes in an open wire frame that allows hummingbirds easy access to natural nesting material.

For more ideas on how to attract hummingbirds and songbirds to your backyard this season, visit

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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