Saturday, March 21, 2009

Construction for a different client

Today Geoff put in some sweat equity by digging a post hole 24" deep to at last erect this bird house. I was given it for Mothers Day more than a few years ago but it has sat in the garage since then while I tried to decide where to place it. One of the problems all along was that the sprinklers would aim water into the nesting area. However, last week I had some vines and low growth cleared out of this area in the back yard. At the same time a number of trees that were dead and had fallen over were removed and put through the chipper. The resulting chips were then spread deeply over the area that was cleared of the vines. Now we had a cleared area that is not in the coverage area of the sprinklers.

As you can see from this photo, I am providing food (feeder containing safflower seed on the left), water (low bird bath on the right) and a nesting site (the new bird house) along with nearby shrubs, brush and trees to perch on. Behind the cleared area are native shrubs that will leaf out soon and provide good landing spots. In the fall they have a red berry on them that the birds like.

I'm hoping that by the summer time I will have my back yard certified as a "wildlife habitat" by the National Wildlife Federation. Great Falls is one of very few towns nationwide that has been certified overall as providing many wildlife habitats. I have two hanging feeders, five bird baths, two bird houses plus lots of trees and stick piles. And I also have a number of flowers selected to please the birds (echinacea and black eyed susans have the most attraction).

Within an hour of the bird house being erected we observed birds flying around and landing on it and checking it out. According to the books I consult chickadees should find this a good spot to nest. But the birds are not always reading the same book! I have a bluebird house on the other back corner of the yard. I have to have it turned so the hole faces North - otherwise the sprinkler will wet the inhabitants. Now the books say not to face a bird house north but I get birds building a nest in there every year. So who knows.

My next "chore" on the birder list is to put out the hummingbird feeder.

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