The Backyard Naturalist’s tips on how to support our wild birds during this hot summer.
Not only are you supporting our wild birds, you're getting a front row seat to see birds at their best! And it's easy! For more info on how to make your backyard a summer haven for wild birds, see our new resource page: Wild Birds, Summer and Water.
Here's Your Hot List for July!
Worried about mosquitoes? Here are reasons why a well-maintained bird bath won't breed mosquitoes:
- Birds eat mosquito larvae! No self respecting bird will leave this tasty treat behind.
- Mosquito larvae takes minimum 7-10 days to hatch. As a conscientious host, during that time you will have freshened the water several times.
- Mosquito larvae tubers will drown due to the frenzied, bathing activity of your guests and the timely refilling and freshening you do..
- If after filling and freshening you’re still concerned about mosquitoes, add motion to your bird bath water with a water wiggler, mister or dripper. Mosquitoes will hate it, but the birds will LOVE it.
- Clean out your bird houses/nest boxes after each brood and they will nest again!! Cavity nesting birds have 2-3 broods a season. They prefer clean houses for each brood.
- It's Hummingbird Season and fresh nectar is essential! Feeders should be emptied and rinsed (no soap!) two to three times a week—or sooner if it looks cloudy—and refilled with fresh nectar. See our resource page on Hummingbirds for more about these tiny amazing birds.
- Clean feeders regularly! Check for mold and clumpy seed, particularly after lots of rain and humidity. Hot soapy water is great for seed feeders. Soak. Scrub. Rinse well. Dry. Refill.
- Keep shell debris at a minimum under your feeders, even if it doesn't bother you! Accumulated shells carry mold that can be deadly to ground feeding birds.
- Don't prune during nesting season as most birds nest in dense shrubbery, bushes and trees. Please be aware and delay until Fall when possible.
- Reconsider using pesticides, especially widespread spraying for mosquitoes. Birds feed their babies almost entire on insects while they're in the nest. Pesticides kill all the beneficial insects and caterpillars too! A healthy insect population is critical to a healthy backyard habitat.
- Sit back and enjoy all the adorably awkward juvenile birds learning how to use your bird feeders and baths!