Wednesday December 11, 2013
Is your tree already trimmed? Now it's time to decorate a Christmas tree for the birds! A great project for kids and fun for the whole family, there are many different edible decorations you can make to create a festive bird feeder tree for all your feathered friends to enjoy. Try these easy options:
Add these edible decorations to trees and shrubs around your yard, and backyard birds and other wildlife will enjoy the seasonal treats while you enjoy the extra beauty each visitor brings to your yard.
Cranberry and Popcorn Garland
Photo © Emily
Tuesday December 10, 2013
The Christmas Bird Count begins December 14 and runs through January 5; are you ready to participate? Brush up on your winter birding skills and be ready to join one of the largest citizen science projects in the world!
Not sure if there's a count in your area this year? Find your local counts and learn more on the official CBC website!
Photo © Doug and Kim Cummins
Monday December 9, 2013
Every new day is a new opportunity to enjoy birds, and every week I answer a reader's question to help them do just that. This week, Mary from New Jersey asks...
"It seems the only birds I see at my feeders are house sparrows. I'd love to see different sparrows - my neighbor has some white-throated sparrows - but how can I get them to visit?"
Sparrows are often overlooked and because many of them look similar, it can be challenging to identify sparrows and realize that you may already have more than one species visiting. There are also many ways to attract sparrows, including offering ground-feeding areas with millet and cracked corn, low bird baths and a dust bath area for them to enjoy. With a little perseverance, you'll soon see more sparrows at your feeders!
Have you been keeping up with all the reader questions this year? Check out the Mailbag Monday archive to be sure you haven't missed out!
Photo © John Beetham
Sunday December 8, 2013
Wind turbines can be deadly to birds, particularly large raptors, but despite the risk, the federal government is seeking to extend the length of permits that allow wind farms to unintentionally kill eagles. According to Fox News, the change would extend permits from the current five years to a 30-year term, granting companies holding the permit an exemption from prosecution for killing certain numbers of eagles in that time frame. Conservationists argue that further study is needed to determine the environmental effects of wind farm facilities.
Both bald eagles and golden eagles are susceptible to wind farms, many of which are positioned along key wind current areas, the same wind currents birds use for soaring and migrating.
Do you agree with these permits in the interest of promoting more sustainable energy sources? What term do you think should be suitable for regulatory permits? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Photo © Larry Hennessy