Wildlife
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Create a Sanctuary for Birds

Roll out the welcome mat
Published: February 1, 2006
You can make your yard more attractive to birds and other animals in a number of ways: Landscape with native plants that provide natural food sources; give shelter from the elements and predators; provide nesting sites; set up feeders and keep them well stocked with high quality bird food.
   
Let’s look at feeders. What type works best? The ideal bird feeder is sturdy enough to withstand weather, tight enough to keep bird food dry, large enough that you don’t have to refill it constantly, and easy to assemble and keep clean.
   
In general, bird food feeders fall into three categories: tray feeders, hopper feeders and tube feeders.
   
Tray feeders are typically placed close to the ground and attract ground-feeding birds such as juncos, sparrows and towhees. Tray feeders also work well when mounted on deck railings, stumps or posts.
   
Hopper feeders are very common and are often hung from trees, decks and poles. These feeders are especially good for larger species such as jays, cardinals and grosbeaks.
   
Tube feeders are typically suspended from trees, posts or roof overhangs. Tube feeders with large holes are excellent for finches and titmice, but go with a small-hole model for chickadees.

For more information:

•  “6 Steps to Turn Your Yard Into a Sanctuary For Birds,” www.backyardbirdcare.org. Philosophy created and endorsed by the Wild Bird Feeding Industry, www.wbfi.org.

•  BirdNotes, a series of 20 articles available free with membership to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Visit www.birds.cornell.edu.
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