How to get ready for nesting season?
It's that time of year again, time to get ready for nesting season!
Around the country, the weather is beginning to warm up. With spring right around the corner, many people are excited about beautiful days, spring blossoms, and outdoor activities. For birders, this is a very exciting time as it means nesting season is right around the corner. Let’s take a look at how you can get ready for nesting season.
What is Nesting Season?
For those a bit new to birding and the behavior of our feathered friends, nesting season refers to the time of year when birds begin to reproduce. You’ll see them beginning to build their nests, lay their eggs, and raise their young.
The nesting season is associated with the spring but actually runs through the spring and the summer, typically extending from March to August. Of course, some species of birds may nest a bit earlier or later. However, most species will fall within the March to August time frame.
How Do I Get Ready for Nesting Season
This is a particularly exciting time of year for birdwatchers. It provides an opportunity to observe bird parenting behavior and see new hatchlings emerge from their eggs and begin to grow. If you want to make the most of nesting season, here are some tips for making your backyard a welcome area for birds to nest.
Create Plenty of Shelter
Perhaps the most important resource for birds during nesting season is the provision of plenty of shelter. Birds want to build their nests in safe, secure areas. The specific places birds seek out will vary based on species. However, there are a few things you can do to provide shelter in your backyard.
A natural way to encourage birds to nest near your home is to have lots of trees. We obviously associate birds nests with trees and as you walk around in the spring, you’re likely to see quite a few. Leaving piles of sticks, straw, twigs, grasses, and other things can provide birds with plenty of material to build their nests.
Of course, some birds like to build their nests in natural cavities. A great solution for this is to secure a nest box to a tree. This provides a cavity for these types of birds. Examples of birds that often use nest boxes include woodpeckers, kestrels, bluebirds, chickadees, and finches.
Offer Plenty of Food Sources
Bird feeders are wonderful for attracting birds to your backyard. However, you may actually find that they generate visitors a bit less frequently during nesting season. The major reason here is that this time of year means protein is at a premium. Birds need it to get energy and watch their babies grow.
There are some things you can do to provide more protein to birds. One option is to put up a mealworm feeder, offering a tasty protein source. These tend to be loved by many species including robins, nuthatches, bluebirds, wrens, woodpeckers, and more.
Another option for helping provide more protein is to add some native plants to your yard. Increasing plants will provide a great environment for attracting insects, which are a favorite food for many birds during nesting season. This is a great way to enhance your yard while making it more hospitable for nesting species.
Don’t Trim Back Plants During Nesting Season
You may find birds nesting in many places including your trees, shrubs, and hedges. Thus, it is very important not to trim back plants during nesting season. If you do so, you could easily disturb or even unintentionally damage a bird nest. You could also expose the nest to predators by trimming back some of the protective foliage.
Even if you are fairly confident that there is not a nest present, many nests are quite well hidden. This means you may unexpectedly encounter one when it is a bit too late. Instead, it is recommended to do any annual trimming during the fall or winter in order to prevent disturbing our feathered friends during nesting season.
Get Your Nesting Season Supplies & More at Birdertown
Nesting season is a great time of year to witness the circle of life and ensure a season of enjoyable birdwatching by attracting nesting birds to your backyard. Get all of your nesting supplies and tips here at Birdertown!