Consideration for back yard birds

Sunday, November 28, 2004

It won't be long before back yard birding enthusiasts tote out tons of seed and suet in the annual effort to attract flocks of feathered friends.

Birds will have their pick of tasty morsels ranging from energy-packed black oil sunflower to delicate thistle to robust suet.

But birders in the know recognize that entree items are only part of the attractions for birds.

"Fresh water, protective cover, an adequate number of feeders and clean food are important to consistently attract the greatest number and species of birds," says Marybeth Cornwell of Lowe's home stores.

She recommends birdbaths be shallow enough for smaller birds. Place the baths away from shrubs and other hiding spots for predators. You'll need to change water frequently. Water is important year round but takes on added importance in colder months as birds need baths to keep their feathers clean for plenty of insulating loft.

Birds need resting and hiding places when they're dining at your feeders. Feeders are ideally placed at least 10 feet from trees and taller plants.

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