6 Ways to Prepare Your Yard for Fall Migration
Now is the time to attract migrating birds to your backyard. Follow these easy steps to make your yard the place to be for fall migration!
1. Understand fall migration.
When fall arrives, a bird's life transitions. Summer was nesting time, birds were busy setting up territories and raising babies. In fall, the family work is done and their territory no longer needs defending.
Some birds will form flocks with their own kind and use this flock as a winter survival tactic, taking advantage of more eyes to search for food and watch for predators.
Some birds may mix together with other bird species in a winter foraging flock. This loose foraging guild travels around, learning each other’s alarm calls to protect from them from danger. They also learn food foraging techniques from each other. American goldfinch, red polls and pine siskens use this tactic.
2. Attract birds with natural landscapes.
Overall, a varied landscape that is not completely manicured will help attract birds during the fall. Take a look at your landscape, try to leave some natural areas. If possible, don't deadhead native plants. Many birds, like finches, love to eat these seeds.
Put out a few brush piles. It gives birds a place to hide from inclement weather and predators. It also gives them a place to hang out and socialize before and after eating at your feeders. Ground-feeding environments attract birds that avoid elevated food sources. Song sparrows and juncos love to feed this way.
You may also want add a blend with a very low percentage of millet. These blends work well when offered in a ground feeder, tray feeder, or in an elevated feeder that allows some millet to be dropped to the ground .
3. Attend to bird feeding stations.
Fall is the perfect time to check over your bird feeding stations. Take the opportunity to clean and repair your feeders now, because who really wants to care for feeders during winter weather?
Fall is also a great time to move bird feeding stations closer to the house. It will be easier to keep them full during winter’s cold.
4. Fresh food now to attract birds later.
As birds come through and decide where to stay, they are more likely to stay if they find a consistent food source. Even if they are not hitting the food source on a daily basis in the fall, once the weather turns cooler, they’ll remember where that reliable source is. By keeping food fresh now, even if it’s a small amount, the birds will reward you once the weather turns.
5. There are more food sources beyond seed.
Make sure you have high-quality fresh food and high-energy, high-fat foods. Wild Birds Unlimited seed blends have these qualities. Try spreadable Bark Butter or Bark Butter Bits, Bark Butter in any form is a magnet for birds, and there are over 140 species confirmed that enjoy them. Once they try it, birds are all over it. Live or dried mealworms are another option. These foods help captivate migrating birds.
6. Provide a moving water source.
A moving water source is a magnet for birds. If a bird is passing through and they see or hear moving water, they will almost always check it out. They need open water sources for drinking and keeping their feathers maintained for flight and proper insulation as the nights get colder.
Stop by the store and let us show you the foods, feeders and other products you my need to help attract migrating birds.