Take it Out­side

At­tract more feathered friends to your prop­erty, with­out putting your log home at risk. by El­iz­a­beth Mil­lard

Log Home Living - - CONTENTS -

At­tract more feathered friends to your prop­erty, with­out putting your log home at risk.

For many log home own­ers, birds F can be some­thing of a mixed bless­ing. They bring mu­sic and live­li­ness to a prop­erty, but they’re of­ten drawn to build­ing nests be­neath the eaves or in the nooks and cran­nies of a log house, which can re­sult in messy drop­pings and po­ten­tial at­tic dwellers. You may even be rais­ing a fresh gen­er­a­tion of wood­peck­ers, which could grow up to cause dam­age to your log walls.

A bet­ter so­lu­tion is to cre­ate bird sanc­tu­ary spa­ces — even a bird perime­ter — lo­cated away from your house, that will nat­u­rally at­tract all sorts of species. You get the plea­sure of bird watch­ing, the cheer­ful song and that nes­tled-in-the-woods feel with­out the has­sles or cleanup. Here are some must-haves for cre­at­ing ar­eas where birds can hang out at a safer dis­tance:

Feed­ers: Hav­ing a va­ri­ety of feed­ers will draw a wider range of bird species. For ex­am­ple, plat­form-style feed­ers of­ten at­tract larger birds like blue jays, but finches pre­fer tall, cylin­dri­cal feed­ers with small perches. Wood­peck­ers and nuthatches pre­fer suet blocks that hang in small cages, and plac­ing these as far from the house as pos­si­ble could al­le­vi­ate po­ten­tial is­sues. You also can

hang nec­tar feed­ers that will at­tract hum­ming­birds or ori­oles.

Wa­ter sources: Bird baths are of­ten beau­ti­ful dec­o­ra­tive pieces that serve as gath­er­ing spots for our feathered friends. Be sure to place good- sized rocks in larger baths so that birds can land in the cen­ter in­stead of hav­ing to sip from the side. Birds are also at­tracted to the sound of run­ning wa­ter, so small foun­tains can make a pretty and prac­ti­cal ad­di­tion to a gar­den. Many are so­lar-pow­ered, so you don’t need to run elec­tri­cal wiring to op­er­ate them, and they can be eas­ily re­lo­cated.

Shel­ter. Trees and bushes usu­ally pro­vide enough shade and rest­ing spots, but you may want to put up small bird­houses or shel­tered plat­forms if you’re cre­at­ing your sanc­tu­ary in the mid­dle of grassy ar­eas or among the flow­ers. Con­sider plant­ing small trees or or­na­men­tal grasses, since these can pro­vide nest­ing spa­ces and in­crease the at­trac­tive­ness of your gar­den stretch in the process.

An­other con­sid­er­a­tion is to lo­cate these bird-friendly spa­ces away from any veg­etable gar­dens or fruit trees, un­less you plan on shar­ing your bounty with your winged res­i­dents. Ar­eas that have plenty of non-fruit­ing trees, bushes, vines and flow­ers can make a happy refuge for birds, and plac­ing gar­den benches there will let you en­joy watch­ing them as they come and go.

RIGHT: A chick­adee and red-bel­lied wood­pecker en­joy a meal at a safe dis­tance.

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