10 Reasons for Spring Bird Feeding
- Diversity of birds increases as birds pass through in the spring. Springtime brings about different activity from all sorts of birds, ultimately leading to unusual birds checking out different sorts of feeders. On some mornings, you can see rose-breasted grosbeak, fox sparrow, Savannah sparrow, eastern meadowlark, red-headed woodpecker, or yellow-rumped warbler.
- Goldfinches molt into spring finery. Catching the first glimpse of a male American goldfinch with a splotch of brand-new canary yellow feathers in early March is such a beautiful sight. Although all species go through a period of molting their old feathers and bringing in new feathers, not all are as dramatic as the American goldfinch.
- Birdsongs right outside your door. For those of us that live through the cold winter months, springtime brings about lots of beautiful birdsongs. As the days lengthen and things start to warm up, birds start to sing more and get more active. They are super excited for spring and can't help but show their emotions! It is spectacular waking up to the symphony on a sunny spring morning.
- Courtship behavior. Springtime brings about lots of fights and flirting among the birds who are searching for a mate and bonds begin to build. A classic example of this is the cardinal kiss. When a male cardinal offers a seed in its bill to a female and she accepts it, you can most likely assume that they will be a mated pair. The male cardinal will continue to offer the female food as a way to show her his intentions and demonstrate that he knows how to pick the best sunflower seeds, ultimately demonstrating his ability to hunt.
- Offering nesting material. There are many things that can be used throughout your yard and garden that birds can use as nesting materials: dried grasses, pine needles, clean dryer lint, cotton balls, and very short yarn (less than 3 inches long).
- Offering eggshells. There are commercials on TV all the time that express how we all need to get our calcium. Birds need it as well, especially during the egg laying period. A female bird will convert the calcium she eats when eating eggshells right back into calcium for the eggs in which she will produce.
- Offering fruit and nectar. Birds love almost any kind of fruit that you set out for them to nibble on, such as oranges, grapefruits, melons, grapes, apples, and anything else you can think of. Nectar is loved by more than 50 species of birds, such as hummingbirds, house finches, orioles tanagers, woodpeckers, and even warblers.
- Waiting for the first hummingbird. You might be one of the lucky few people who live in an area where hummingbirds are around all year long. However, for those of us who only see the hummingbirds during the warm months, we go crazy waiting for them to show up. Hummingbirds usually show up during the first week in April.
- Shifting gears. Spring is a great time for cleaning, in and outside of the home. Feeders get moved to a new spot, feed bins need to be cleaned out, and we get all of our feeders ready for action, especially the hummingbird feeders. Spring is a time for us to feed less seed and more fruit and mealworms.
- Filling your feeders in short sleeves! During the long winter months, we all have to go outside and fill our feeders, but it is so cold and we have to bundle up. Springtime allows us to enjoy the beautiful weather and go outside in fewer clothes and soak up the sun.
Article Credit: This is from the article Top 10 Reasons Spring Feeding is Great in Bird Watcher's Digest by Bill Thompson III