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We love birds and try to provide them with food and shelter all year long. We have nesting boxes, bird feeders, and over fifty trees on the property. I provide bits of cotton and wool from craft projects (no synthetics) as well as seeds from my garden. We also have small bird baths, but here in the mountains, the falcons use them to wash their prey! We find bits of squirrel, rabbit, and rodent body parts in the water, which is unappealing to us and must be terrifying to the birds. Any suggestions?

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Susan Hathaway

Circle of Life. We love our Falcon that resides here our 3 acres. He is very smart. He flies for his meals toward our big picture window where the feeders are. If he misses one, they may fly & hit the window so he gets a second chance for his meal :) But I have never seen or heard of one washing it’s prey. Maybe parts are falling from a perch above?

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Nancy Nygaard

Great article!I love birds and have employed many of the recommendations you mentioned in this article to create a bird friendly home. We have 6 acres of land which makes it possible to incorporate many things into the landscape. We have a very relaxed landscaping plan which works well for me since I live with chronic pain. I use many native plants that require low maintenance and mostly take care of themselves once established.

Some of our bird guest's favorite plantings in my flower gardens and around in the cultivated area include Dogwood trees, Service Berries, Cherry trees, Mountain Ash trees, Flowering Crabapple trees, Lilacs Coneflowers, Catmint, Daylilies, Birch and Maple trees. They also love to hang out in the vegetable garden hunting abundant bugs.

I offer them food all year long and feed them a different diet depending on the season. In the Spring and Summer months I have three designated areas that cater to the food preferences and feeding habits of specific species that return every year after migration. I clean the feeders every three or four days - in every season - to prevent the spread of disease. i also provide three bird baths which I clean daily. I have identified over 30 species of birds in our yard...and see something new all the time!

Our cultivated property is surrounded by natural prairie which I have left in it's natural state. It attracts many varieties of birds due to the cover, protection and nesting habitat it provides - love watching the pheasants in this area.

I am the landlord of two nest boxes which are occupied every year by Tree Swallows and Bluebirds. I take this job very seriously and monitor the boxes vigilantly to prevent House Sparrows from coming in and killing female birds as they incubate, or nestlings left unattended while their parents hunt for food. The House Sparrow is an invasive species that will kill native birds due to its aggressive behavior. I do all I can to get rid of them! I try non-aggressive methods first like not putting out junk food which most commercial bird seed mixes are full of. I use black oil sunflower seed, safflower seed and neijer seed which are all attractive to many varieties of song birds.

I enjoy adding to the landscape every year and plan to add an additional butterfly garden and a cottage garden to surround the pergola pictured in one of the photos.


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