The Backyard Birder’s Spring Checklist
Nesting season is in full swing! It’s the best time of the year for backyard birding. Don’t miss out on the fun! Here are some of our tips to help you maximize your joy and minimize your effort this Spring.
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 about Hummingbirds for more, including an easy nectar recipe!
Clean feeders regularly!
Check for mold and clumpy seed, particularly after lots of rain. Hot soapy water is great for seed feeders. Soak. Scrub. Rinse well. Dry. Refill. See ‘Clean Feeders and Quality Food Matter’.
Keep shell debris at a minimum under your feeders. Accumulated shells may carry mold and mold can be deadly to ground feeding birds.
It’s (always) all about water, water WATER! All wild birds need water for drinking and bathing year round. Bonus reward! Your bird bath is an opportunity to host birds not tempted by your seed feeders.
Keep the bath clean and the water fresh. Your bird bath is a welcome sight for migrants still arriving or passing through. It’s also a daily essential for your local nesting Moms and Dads.
Best of all, it won’t be long before their fledglings visit! Watching juniors discover your bird bath for the first time is one of the joyous rewards for maintaining a bird bath.
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. See our resource, Placing and Maintaining Bird Houses.
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. Wildlife rehabbers are seeing too many injured nestlings from pruning incidents.
Please, PLEASE don’t use pesticides, especially widespread spraying for mosquitoes. (See Mosquitoes, Bird Baths and Your Backyard).
Birds, including Hummingbirds, feed their babies almost entirely on insects while in the nest.
Pesticides kill all the beneficial insects and caterpillars, too! A healthy insect population is critical to a healthy backyard habitat. See our Earth Day blog post on more about pesticides and wild birds.
We’re here to help!
The Backyard Naturalist has everything you’ll need and the best free advice available. Come see us. We’re here to help at every step.
Happy Mothers Day to all the Moms out there!
Debi & Mike Klein and The Backyard Naturalist Team