Backyard Bird Life: May
May is when birds make their nests. Migration is all but complete. Now, it’s time to create a seasonal home. Reliable food is critical. By keeping your feeders full, you’ll give nesting birds a good reason to build in your backyard. Stock up at CountryMax. Remember, every Tuesday there’s a “three for two” deal on wild bird seed at your nearest CountryMax Store. Check the calendar for this week’s money-saving offer.
Saturday, May 13
World Migratory Bird Day is a celebration of birds as they journey back to nesting sites in North America from non-breeding grounds in Central and South America. A global event, World Migratory Bird Day has quickly become one of the largest awareness-raising campaigns advocating for the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats. This year’s theme is to “Focus on Water,” emphasizing the importance of water for migratory birds and identifying key actions for protecting water resources and aquatic ecosystems.
Put Feeders Out Now
To attract hummingbirds, you need to set out your feeder when hummingbirds are around…which is now! It’s true, the first hummers are just arriving in Upstate New York. So you might think you can wait till they all arrive. But the secret is for the first arrivals to find your feeder and tell their friends!
Clean Your Feeder Regularly
Mold. Bacteria. Germs. You clean your house to avoid these things. Clean your feeders once a week for the same reason.
Plant the Right Flowers
Perennials like bee balm will attract hummers year after year. Want to add some annuals? Just remember that hummers like red! Check out our Plant Finder to find the best pollinator plant options!
Don’t Add Red Dye
As mentioned above, hummingbirds are attracted to the color red. And the nectar you purchase is often red. But don’t add dye or food coloring to your homemade sugar water. Artificial ingredients can hurt your feathered friends. They sense it and will steer clear!
Don’t Limit Yourself to One Hummingbird Feeder
Hummingbirds can be are very territorial. Sometimes one bird will claim a feeder for him- or herself. Multiple hummingbird feeders can mean multiple hummers and a very fun summer!
Don’t Put Your Feeder in a Danger Zone
Predators like cats love a conveniently placed bird feeder because it makes stalking these birds easier. Other wildlife may enjoy access to a regular supply of sugar water. To be sure you’re attracting hummers and keeping them safe, put your feeder up high and out of reach.
“Eats like a bird” is a common, but misleading, reference to humans who don’t eat much. Truth is, birds consume plenty, often 10 to 35 percent of their body weight each day. Here’s what constitutes a heathy diet for birds. Click on images for more details and to purchase these products.
1. Seed Swap
Squirrels like your bird feeders because they’re filled with delicious treats. By adjusting your blends to include items they don’t enjoy – thistle, white millet, safflower – fewer squirrels will come. The upside: lots of birds like those ingredients!
2. Keep Things Tidy Underneath the Feeder
If you have spillover from your feeders, squirrels will find it. Once they do, the feeders are their next stop. So, keep the ground clean, sweeping up by hand if you have to. Another way is to choose a premium no-waste seed blend, so birds eat it all at the feeders rather than picking out their favorite pieces.
3. Create Some Distance
Did you know some squirrels can jump up to 8 feet in the air! Give your feeders 10+ feet from the nearest launching pad and you’ll cut down on the number of squirrels that can get at it.
4. Try 1-litre Soda Bottles
You have no-doubt seen squirrels walking on wires. They make it look easy, which is why feeders hanging from a wire or clothesline are vulnerable. If your feeders are hung this way, try stringing plastic soda bottles on the wire. The slippery spinning bottles will prevent squirrels from taking a direct path to your bird seed.
Or try squirrel-resistant feeders. We carry many varieties!
5. Spice Things Up with Chili Peppers
6. Go for a Spin!
It sounds too simple to be effective, but if you hang your feeders from spinning hook, or buy one that’s designed to spin, like the Yankee Flipper, you’ll not only reduce squirrel theft, you may also get a good show out your window.
Eastern bluebirds tend to return to the same breeding territory year after year. Some people believe they’re a sign of joy and hope. Others claim that if you see a bluebird, good news is on its way.
More Birds® Bird Health+™ Hummingbird Nectar Powder
Simulates natural nectar found in flowers that hummingbirds typically feed from in nature. Makes 40 fl. oz. Just add water. Available in red #009555 or clear #009561
We’re giving you a new reason to love Tuesdays:
Buy two, get one free on wild bird seed! Every week is a new, money-saving deal that not only gets you more seed for your feeders, but also more Max Rewards points.