Keep Wildlife Wild

By | September 26, 2015

Birds are wonderful creatures.  They are graceful, often colorful, and their voices bring a certain sense of tranquility into our hectic lives.  So it is understandable that we would want to attract them to our yards.  Unfortunately, we do have to remind everyone, that birdfeeders are prohibited per section 4 of the Association’s Rules and Regulations which states: ‘The feeding of ANY wildlife, including birds, is prohibited. Based on the history of building damage and potential health and safety issues a $50.00 immediate fine will be assessed to anyone feeding wildlife in the community, effective July 1, 2011.” There are many ways to naturally attract birds to your unit, without using bird feeders and subjecting yourself to fines for violating the by-laws.  Just remember to provide the things that naturally attract birds, including:

  • Nesting Sites.  For permanent guests, it is necessary to provide nesting sites for backyard birds. Many birds prefer to nest in natural locations, but manmade sites can also be attractive and may be easier for birders to enjoy. Nesting sites can include:
    • Trees and shrubs for natural nesting sites
    • Simple nesting boxes
    • Functional or decorative birdhouses
    • Provide nesting materials such as string or pieces of clothe cut 6 to 8 inches long, animal fur shed by your pets if they have not been treated with tick or flea repellant, dry grass or straw
  • Shelter.  Birds will not stay in a location where they do not feel safe, and adding backyard features that can offer them shelter will help attract them to your yard and keep them there once they have found it. Common bird shelters include:
    • Trees
    • Shrubs
    • Ornamental grasses
    • Provide shelter at different levels for birds that prefer both high and low shelters. More dense plant growth is popular with small and medium bird species, while larger birds prefer perches where they can scan nearby areas for predators and other dangers. 
  • Water.  Moving or flowing water will attract the most birds because it is more visible and they can hear it from a great distance. Water should be kept fresh and clean, but no chemicals should be used to purify water because they can be harmful to birds.  Birds also need water in the winter. A heated bird bath will provide drinkable water that birds do not have to use body heat to melt first. Heaters can be added to regular bird baths or  heated bathes can be used.   Make sure you place stones or other objects in the water for them to stand on while they are drinking or preening so they don’t get too wet.
    • Trees and shrubs for natural nesting sites
    • Simple nesting boxes
    • Functional or decorative birdhouses
  • Food.   From a bird’s point of view, native plants are like Mom’s home cooking. They’re the tried-and-true foods that keep the birds coming back for more—the berries and seeds that bring in more bluebirds, orioles, goldfinches and a whole long list of other most-wanted species. Birds are already familiar with native plants, which make them a surefire attraction when their seeds or berries ripen. About 150 species recognize them at first sight and quickly descend to the waiting feast.
Top 12 Plants for a Native Bird Garden

  1. Asters: many native perennial species, such as calico aster, heart-leaved aster, New England aster, sky blue aster, smooth aster, white wood aster
  2. Black-eyed Susans: short-lived Rudbeckia hirta, including the rustic-colored mix known as Gloriosa daisy, and perennial R. fulgida 
  3. Blue anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)
  4. Brown-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia triloba)
  5. Calliopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria)
  6. Firewheel or Indian blanket (Gaillardia spp.)
  7. Liatris
  8. Lupines: many native species, such as the famous Texas bluebonnet
  9. Mexican hat (Ratibida columnifera)
  10. Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
  11. Sunflowers, annuals and perennials (Helianthus, all species)
  12. Yellow coneflower (Ratibida pinnata)

Any reputable garden center such as English Gardens or Plymouth Nursery should be able to supply the plants you need to make the back of your unit a birds paradise.    To rea more check out: