As nesting season comes to an end and alternative food sources are in abundance, you may see less activity at your bird feeders in the heat of the summer months. But don’t let this discourage you from birding! The birds are still present in your backyard, laying low as they begin to prepare for fall migration. Continue to provide your backyard birds with food, water and shelter and make the most out of summer birding with these tips!
Don’t stop feeding the birds
With insects, fruit, and seeding plants providing plenty of nutrition for a bird’s summer diet, they may find it less necessary to visit a bird feeder. But even if you don’t see as much activity at your feeders, keeping them full throughout the entire season gives the birds a consistent source of nourishment and may make them more likely return throughout the year or even next season. Keep your feeders stocked, cleaned, and if possible, in the shade to keep the seed or nectar fresh longer and to provide a cool and comfortable place for the birds to feed. If feeding suet, choose a no-melt variety that will keep longer when exposed to hot temperatures.
Plant bird-friendly vegetation
To attract more birds to your backyard, consider adding bird-friendly native vegetation to your landscape. The additional nutrition from the fruit, seeds, nectar and insects who inhabit the plant will keep the birds coming back to your yard. Do some research on the birds in your area and find out which flowers, bushes and trees they prefer and get planting!
Note: It is advised to avoid the use of pesticides on plants since they could eliminate beneficial insects that can improve the health of the plants. Consider adding a beneficial insect house near your plants as a chemical-free alternative.
Provide fresh water
All birds drink water and need to bathe regularly to keep their feathers clean. Providing a consistent source of clean and fresh water from a bird bath, fountain or a shallow pond will keep your backyard birds cool and hydrated in the heat of the summer.
It’s important to keep your water source clean and change the water often to prevent bacteria from forming and spreading amongst the birds. Try to place your water source in the shade to keep it from drying out and getting too hot in the sun. If your water source is stagnant, you can add a fountain to keep the water moving and prevent it from becoming dirty quickly.
Provide nesting sites
In addition to setting up bird feeders, another way to attract birds to your yard is to provide adequate nesting sites like birdhouses, bushes, dense vegetation, or tall trees. If birds have their nest close by, they will still be present in and around your yard even if they don’t visit your bird feeders.
Become an early birder
As the saying goes, the early bird gets the worm! To beat the summer heat, birds forage and visit feeders in the early morning hours so they don’t have to expend as much energy staying cool. Try waking up with the birds and watching for increased activity.
As always, be patient and don’t be afraid to try something new to get the most enjoyment out of summer birding season!