Parker County Today November 2016 - Page 48

Winter Prep for Your Backyard Birds BY THE WILD BIRD CENTER WEATHERFORD, TX W NOVEMBER 2016 PA R K E R C O U N T Y T O D AY inter is coming and it’s time to get your yard ready for the cold, wet weather to come. There are leaves to be raked; plants to be pruned; perennials to cut back; and, of course, your backyard birds to think about. By now, even the late nesting birds are done for the year so it’s safe to remove nesting material from your bird houses, clean them up a bit and repair any nest box that needs tending. This is also a good time to add entry guards to your nest boxes. The Wild Bird Center of Weatherford carries cover plates designed to prevent predators (or inappropriate tenants, such as squirrels) from enlarging the entry holes. This is also the time to put up roosting boxes. Some are built much like nest boxes but feature the entry hole at the bottom of the box so warmer air is contained in the box. A roosting box may also have perches built in to allow several birds to use the box at the same time. If you have a “convertible” box – one designed to function as both a nest box and a roosting box – now is the time to reposition the door opening and seal the vents. Roosting “pockets” are another option. Designed to accommodate just one or two birds at a time, these little baskets are made of natural 46 Goldfinches Above: Cardinal Suet Left: Downy Suet