how to be friendly with birds

From chickadees to woodpeckers and orioles and from ants to bears, Margaret Robbins discussed ways to welcome some of the many bird species to the backyard while providing ways to animal- and insect-proof feeders from culprits of all sizes during “Bonding With Birds,” hosted by The Garden Club of Newtown at C.H. Booth Library on February 26.

Ms Robbins, of Wild Birds Unlimited in Brookfield, spoke for about an hour, fielding occasional questions from some of the 30-plus audience members during the Garden Club’s monthly meeting in the library’s Meeting Room.

“There are a number of ways. Feeding is just one way,” said Ms Robbins before explaining that habitat is also crucial for making a feathered friend feel welcomed (and safe).

“Habitat is extremely important. And for some birds, like Bluebirds, that’s the only way you’ll welcome them to your yard,” she said. “By making a few changes in your yard, you can actually welcome a few different types of birds.”

The first step is to decide what type or types of birds one would like to see. Some species, such as chickadees, nest in small cavities, so the appropriate bird house is necessary, she said.

“You’ve never seen anything cuter in your life than a two- or three-day old Chickadee,” Ms Robbins said.

Predator guards are available for bird houses and can be helpful for deterring predators such as raccoons — which are the biggest problems for cavity-nesting birds, she said.

Bird houses should be spread out, 25 or 30 feet apart, with four on the average one-acre lot — two in the front and two in back — Ms Robbins advised.

“If you have a tree that dies, don’t take all of it down. It will become a food source or house for something,” she suggested.

Brush piles are great places for some birds, as it provides a food source after insects lay eggs to overwinter, but brush piles need to be left far from the house, since they also attract rodents, Ms Robbins warned.

In addition to providing the proper habitat, the right food must be offered. Just like native plants do better, food that birds recognize is essential, Ms Robbins explained.

The freshness of seeds is essential, and some types of seeds will not keep for more than a few months. Bird lovers must check for the date the seeds were packaged, as birds will turn their beaks up at old seeds. Although birds do not rely on smell and taste buds to decipher what is best for their diets, they do recognize through vision whether or not seeds are fresh.

Some birds will snub sunflower seeds and go for the peanuts she leaves out, Ms Robbins mentioned, because the birds know there is more protein and fat to be found in peanuts. She has birds at home that follow her around waiting for peanuts. Birds recognize faces and will befriend those that feed them, Ms Robbins commented.

“A chickadee can lose almost all of its body weight of stored fat in one night,” said Ms Robbins, adding that it is essential for these birds to consume enough of the right food to survive the next day. “They have to be very specialized.”

Winter, especially late winter until spring — or now — is the best time for man to help feed bird, Ms Robbins said — the reason being that there is no natural food source available, and that which was available has run out.

Hummingbirds and orioles will be here in mid-April, said Ms Robbins, adding that before investing in a bird house, one way to test out whether or not they might visit your yard is to slice an orange in half, scrape out the inside, nail the husk to a branch, and fill with grape jelly.

There are different types of feeders that serve different purposes and thus different species of birds.

“Hoppers are great feeders for pretty much every bird. They store a lot and are easy to fill,” Ms Robbins said. “Don’t be surprised to see different types of birds at your feeder that you haven’t seen before.”

Tube-style feeders are ideal for birds that perch. And some have an accessory that keeps the elements from damaging bird seed.

“Weather guards are really worth their weight in gold. It keeps the rain and snow out of your food,” Ms Robbins said.

Some things to look for in a feeder: “Ease of cleaning, no leaking, and no yellow. What does yellow attract?” she asked the audience.

Nectar attracts hummingbirds and woodpeckers — and ants, making ant guards important. Ms Robbins suggests combining four parts water with one part sugar to attract these long beak birds. It is essential to clean out the nectar every three, four, or five days in cooler weather and every two days in warmer weather because of it evaporating or rotting.

An audience member asked about woodpeckers doing damage to homes, and Ms Robbins said they are not going for insects in the wood but, rather, letting others know this is their territory.

“We do have a bear-proof feeder. It’s bear proof in that they can’t destroy it. It’s heavy; it weighs about 20 pounds,” Ms Robbins said of a feeder offered at her store and noting that bears still may eat the bird food.

Hot pepper seed, which Ms Robbins said birds do not taste and which has been found can actually help their digestive systems, will turn off bears.

“The other thing you can do is put your feeders in at night, and that’s recommended. But the problem is the bears haven’t read the book. They do come during the day,” Ms Robbins said lightheartedly.

Ms Robbins suggests clustering a few feeders together rather than spacing them out. In some instances, male birds will claim one feeder while allowing a female and younger birds to have their own supply.

Water is necessary to attract birds, and there are devices that keep the water moving to prevent mosquito breeding, Ms Robbins said. Bird baths are nice, but heated dog bowls are a cost-effective way to keep the birds coming and prevent ice from forming throughout the winter. Adding rocks to the bath can help attract birds, one of the attendees noted. Ms Robbins concurred, saying that birds cannot tell how deep the water is and might be more apt to bathe if they see tops of rocks at the surface.

Pesticides, of course, not only discourage birds but also can be harmful to them, Ms Robbins said.

But there is one rather unusual, unnatural way to manage your flying guests. Some birds, such as cardinals, will see their reflection in the window and attack the reflection, thinking it is a competing male bird. Applying soap to the outside of the glass to dull the shine/ distort the reflection will alleviate this problem, Ms Robbins said.

Ms Robbins is an avid birder with a life list of more than 475 different species. She has taken bird biology classes at Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology, an animal behavior course, and has taught bird biology, nesting, bird-feeding, and identification classes. Before opening her store, she was employed by National Audubon Society at their Greenwich location and also led Audubon birding cruises along the New England Coast and Baja, Mexico. Ms Robbins now leads local bird walks in the greater Danbury area and birding tours to southeast Arizona.

“It was absolutely excellent. Her knowledge, with the background from the Audubon Society was so much appreciated. You want to hear the truth,” Garden Club attendee Connie Huebner said. “I’m really glad that I came. I’m relatively new to birding.” Margaret Robbins of Wild Birds Unlimited presented “Bonding With Birds” at the Newtown Garden Club’s monthly meeting at C.H. Booth Library on February 26. Ms Robbins provided details about the types of foods and habitats needed to attract birds. Pictured are a chickadee nest box and eastern bluebird trail box. Margaret Robbins shows her audience two types of bird feeders, a tube style feeder, left, with weather guard — ideal for birds that perch — and a hopper feeder, which Ms Robbins said will attract a wide range of birds. —Bee Photos, Hutchison

“It was absolutely excellent. Her expertise and background from the Audubon Society were greatly valued. Attendee Connie Huebner of Garden Club stated, “You want to hear the truth.” “I’m really glad that I came. I’m relatively new to birding. “Bonding With Birds” was presented by Margaret Robbins of Wild Birds Unlimited at the Newtown Garden Club’s monthly meeting at C H. Booth Library on February 26. Ms. Robbins gave information on the kinds of food and environments that are necessary to draw birds. A chickadee nest box and an eastern bluebird trail box are shown. Margaret Robbins displays two different kinds of bird feeders to her audience: a hopper feeder, which she claims will draw a variety of birds, and a tube style feeder with a weather guard, which is perfect for perching birds. —Bee Photos, Hutchison.

According to Ms. Robbins, hummingbirds and orioles will arrive in the middle of April. She also mentioned that, if you’re unsure whether or not to buy a bird house, you can try cutting an orange in half, scraping out the insides, tying the husk to a branch, and filling it with grape jelly.

According to Ms. Robbins, “a chickadee can lose almost all of its body weight of stored fat in one night,” and it is crucial for these birds to eat enough of the right food in order for them to survive the following day. “They have to be very specialized. ”.

According to Ms. Robbins, some birds will ignore sunflower seeds in favor of the peanuts she leaves out because they are aware that peanuts contain more protein and fat. At home, she has birds that follow her everywhere in anticipation of peanuts. According to Ms. Robbins, birds can recognize faces and will make friends with people who feed them.

Certain types of seeds can only be stored for a few months, so it’s important that they are fresh. Because birds will eat old seeds, birdwatchers should look up the date the seeds were packaged. Birds can detect freshness in seeds using their vision, even though they do not rely on scent or taste buds to determine what is best for their diets.

Theres definitely a list of dos and donts when it comes to talking to birds. butcherbird and rainbow lorikeet making friendsWild birds have a big advantage over us, if they dont like what were doing or saying they can fly away and avoid our company altogether. So in this case it is useful to understand the donts.

Speak slowly and gently, maintaining a normal or soft voice. When we get excited and forget that they will fly away from us, we do things like shout loudly near them, wave our arms excessively if we are only a short distance away from them, and run towards them, even just to greet or give them food. The more daring birds will stay a little while longer as they get to know you before deciding whether to leave. However, shy birds will still fly away from you even after they are fully aware of their safety. This is just to be cautious. That being said, you will discover that once you have earned their trust, even the shiest birds will remain and pay attention if you chastise a mischievous bird loudly. The other birds really appreciate you standing up for them because they understand rules very well and know when one of them is being reprimanded for breaking them. Now that we have got that out of the way. We can focus on the Dos.

While you wait, click this link and fill out the form to learn more about 23 Incredible Facts About Wild Bird Culture with true stories.

1. Start talking to them.

Maggie magpies sitting on the postYou can call out to them gently and talk to them when putting out the water and food, or you can talk to them while they are eating and drinking. If you see a bird in the bush, or on the bank, or sitting on a post, you can just talk to the bird directly. If the bird is not used to talking to humans, the bird may retreat in shyness, fly off, or pretend to have not heard you. Do not feel discouraged or dissuaded by any of this. Just wait for the next opportunity and try again.

Because birds are easily frightened, the first thing to remember is to not scare them. This is surprisingly not as obvious as it seems. Because of our excitement and eagerness to make friends, humans occasionally don’t give the birds enough time to get to know us. Since friendship is a two-way street, we must allow the bird the space and time to observe us in return. In the beginning, the bird will scare easily. Their natural instincts and reflexes are to flee at the first sign of any movement, such as a flutter of a dress or sleeve in the wind, or a vibration from the ground as we walk. This isn’t the result of someone responding to us directly. However, birds are adapted to stay out of harm’s way from cats, other predatory birds, and other animals that feed on them. Don’t be offended when that happens, and it will happen often. There will be times even when they know us well when they will just fly off and you’ll be left wondering what on earth you did to frighten them!


How do you get a bird to trust you?

Give your bird treats. Food can be a great reward for good behavior and a way to build trust. If you bird is being brave or showing good behavior, try giving it a treat to make it feel even more comfortable around you. Try to find out which foods your bird likes the most. Offer many treats and see what it enjoy.

How can I be friendly with wild birds?

Never approach a wild bird without speaking to it all the time. Always move very slowly around birds until they become accustomed to your presence. Always try to remember that there is no such thing as a naturally tame wild bird. You are its greatest enemy until you have gained its confidence.

How do you get wild birds to like you?

Provide a nice, safe space to get easily accessed food and water, then hang around the site. Most “backyard” birds come to tolerate the presence of humans as long as the humans are not noisy, move around a lot, or act like they are approaching the bird in any way.