Parker County Today December 2017 - Page 86

Helping Birds in Fall and Winter BY THE WILD BIRD CENTER, WEATHERFORD, TX Nothing beats the winter blues more than seeing a flash of color at a feeder, a newly molted cardinal or a shy migrant lurking under your hedges. Now is the time to think about what you can do to help your birds through fall and winter. Here are some ideas: #1: Protect the migrants. Although migrating birds will not necessarily come to your feeders (they are, after all, migrating through and might not know of your desire to help support them), there could be some migrants who stop over in your backyard. One thing to consider is your window. Could a migrating bird mistake that clean picture window as a fly-through? There are many decals avail- Frozen Ber ries able to place on your clean windows, or you can just place branches in the way of the reflective glass. Copper wind spinners, balloon spin- ners and decorative “cut glass” sun catchers are all effective in deterring birds from window hits. 84 #2: Continue to offer all the elements of a safe backyard habitat–food, water and shelter. Consider starting a brush pile. It’s a great hiding place for wrens and ever- curious chickadees. Start with a wooden pallet or large logs and then add twigs, sticks, broken branches and boughs of pine and spruce. Designate a safe area in your yard. Birds will readily come to your feeders if they are close to cover. #3: Winterize your nest boxes. Now is the time to clean out those bluebird boxes that hopefully gave you pleasure all spring and summer. Clean boxes thor- oughly with a stiff brush and a bleach-and-water solution