Here are things you can do to help birds of all kinds – songbirds, raptors and shorebirds – especially as they fly from their winter homes to their summer breeding ground. To help them avoid the many perils along the way:
(from Audubon Society and the National Wildlife Federation plus 2 of mine at end):
1. Reduce or eliminate pesticide and herbicide use.
2. Plant native plants, which provide the best fruit and seeds, and the habitat for the insects the birds eat.
3. Keep cats inside.
4. Make windows visible to birds to prevent collisions. Put up screen, close drapes and blinds when you’re gone, and use multiple decals on windows.
5. Let your yard get messy.
6. Close blinds at night and turn off lights you’re not using.
7. Protect water and feeder sources in your yard. (Replace birdbath water often and keep birdfeeders clean)
8. Use layers in your landscaping – understory, ground cover, shrubs and trees – to provide protection.
9. Buy organic food and drink shade-grown coffee – both are habitat-healthy purchases that increase the market for produce grown without the use of pesticide
10. Support Audubon by taking the Home Healthy Yard Pledge. This means conserving water, planting natives, removing invasive plants, reducing pesticide, and protecting water quality to keep birds safe in your yard.
11. Put birds who hit windows in a quiet place to recover. We’ve found a number of birds who unfortunately hit our windows – but many survived. Within a half hour they had flown off (this is another reason to keep cats indoors)
12. Analyze wind power projects near your – many bird deaths have occurred when they hit the blades, and with the current emphasis on alternate energy sources, some are proposed in migration corridors.
For more info: Audubon Society website and National Wildlife Federation website