If you like seeing birds and appreciate their beauty,you should also consider encouraging them to nest in your backyard.Not only will you enjoy being in their company throughout the year,you could also watch them rear their young right in front of your eyes.What’s better than deriving happiness from providing a safe nesting haven for birds in your backyard and watching them feed their young.By providing a few basic things,you can ensure that birds won’t leave your backyard in the coming nesting season.
Food source : The first thing on your part is to provide birds with a constant supply of food throughout the year so they won’t have to leave your backyard to search for food elsewhere.While birds generally do not have much difficulty in finding food for themselves,offering easy sources of food will go a long way in convincing birds to nest in your backyard.You could place bird feeders at different locations in your house,but the type of food you provide should be in accordance with the kinds of birds in the area.
For birds such as hummingbirds,sunbirds,white-eyes etc. hanging a nectar filled feeder will do the trick.For birds like sparrows,munias,doves and pigeons,feeders filled with seeds such as black sunflower seeds,olive seeds,bajra,corn should be kept at various places in and around your house.Make sure that the feeders are regularly refilled or the birds may start disappearing.If you are not sure what kind of food to dish out,black sunflower seeds seem to work the best,attracting a plethora of birds.It is important to keep the feeders away from the reach of predators such as cats and dogs and pests such as rodents and squirrels who are nasty competitors for the birds while they are feeding.
Nesting materials : Nesting materials such as twigs,hair,straw etc which might prove to be useful for birds in making a nest should be kept in the backyard.Birds will themselves come to know of their existence and use them while constructing the nest.This would ensure that they won’t have to fly away to other places in order to search for the materials.Also,try to keep your backyard untouched and let all the heaps of leaves,twigs etc remain lying there so that birds may make use of them as well and feel “at home” at the same time.
Water : The nesting season of most birds generally commences when summers begin ,so you might as well provide them with a water source that has a constant supply of water throughout the summer season.A water bath seems to work the best and helps birds quench their thirst and get rid of excess oil in their feathers at the same time.A shallow pond or a dust bath are good alternatives since birds usually like to bathe in puddles of water during monsoons in the jungle.Whatever source of water you provide,make sure that it is shallow as birds are afraid to step into deep water.You could add a heater to the bird bath so that the water stays warm in winters as well.Also,it is important to clean the bird bath regularly and change the water from time to time so that it doesn’t get contaminated with excess of bacteria.
Nest Houses : If you want to ensure that birds nest in your backyard this year,make sure that you place a few nest houses in your backyard so that birds won’t have to take the trouble of making a nest.The hole diameter should be according to the type of bird you want to encourage to nest in your backyard.Try to keep the nesting material near the nest houses.Also ensure that you place the nest houses in safe areas such as inside a dense bush or high up in a tree away from the reach of bird predators such as hawks,kites,crows,cats and dogs.