7 Must Do’s To Help Backyard Birds In December
Part Of The 12 Month Bird Watching Guide Series
#1 Must Do For Bird Watching Guide December
1. Wild Birds Have More To Do With Christmas Than Songs & Greeting Cards
Here is how to be a backyard bird friendlier this celebration season.
Have you ever noticed if you live on a street with other people, what your street look like the first garbage day after December 25th?
If you have not, then pay attention this year and you may be shocked.
Piles of garbage, largely consisting of packaging material, boxes, foam, paper – wrapping paper in volumes! And much more.
What happens to all of it, we want to think that all of it will be recycled into other usable items, but as we have been discovering in the news, it is not.
How can we make sure we are not part of this unnecessary waste? (There will always be some waste, but if we can reduce it to a minimal amount, then we have a chance to be responsible with it.)
Use the ideas presented here along with your own ideas to make a new way of gift-giving for not just Christmas, but for other celebratory occasions, so you will always have birds at your feeders to enjoy:
- start at the purchase point, when considering buying a gift, try to find one that has minimal packaging so there is far less to throw out after unwrapping;
- let’s face it, most children regard wrapping paper as a nuisance, so for children especially, what better way to open a gift than to find it in a treasure hunt – place a hint to start the search under the Christmas tree;
- wrap gifts with useful items like… T-shirts and other pieces of clothing, scarves, towels, sheets, blankets, curtains for large items – Here is some help with fabric wrapping
- put the gifts into knapsacks, reusable shopping bags, cloth bags of all sorts;
- the dollar stores have a number of different types of bags that could make excellent gift wrap with perfectly good use in themselves;
- attach a new Christmas tree ornament on the outside instead of a bow, or a small toy, a chocolate bar, any small gift will make it so much more fun than a bow that is torn off and trashed.
If you cannot get your mind around not using wrapping paper and bows then:
- choose paper that is not made with foil, glitter or plastic, brown paper or tissue paper (without glitter) is a better option;
- read the label to check and see if it is recyclable;
- get a bag and a box to have handy during opening time and place all bows and ribbons in the bag, fold the wrapping paper – even ripped pieces can be reused for a smaller gift next time and lay it flat in the box neatly, when all the unwrapping is done place the bow bag into the box with the wrapping paper for protection from getting crushed and then all wrap is ready, in one place for next time;
- use the wrapping paper as fire starter;
- smooth out and trim used wrapping paper for children to colour on the plain side;
- used wrapping paper can also be reused in many craft projects and for origami.
Other Creative Gift Wrapping:
#2 Must Do For Bird Watching Guide December
2. What To Do With A Live Christmas Tree When The Festivities Are Done?
Save your real Christmas tree!
If you don’t use a live tree then walk your streets and find one to take home, I do!
This practice has many great purposes by giving that precious tree new life.
First it lights up your home for the festivities, then it provides additional places for the birds in your backyard to use for shelter and for a safe place to hide from predators.
Then, when spring starts to settle in, it can be added to a brush pile for wildlife, chopped up for firewood or added to a compost heap.
These are great ways to recycle a live tree and give it many different uses.
#3 Must Do For Bird Watching Guide December
3. How To Keep Your Feeders Accessible To Birds
Keep your feeders free of snow and ice.
To help wild birds, you can add a weather guard which is basically an umbrella, suspended over your feeders to reduce the amount of buildup on the feeders.
Some weather guards are made of hard acrylic or metal.
An umbrella weather guard will be most useful if you are unable to clear your feeders of snow and ice because you are away for a day.
#4 Must Do For Bird Watching Guide December
4. What About The Salt?
At Christmas, salt belongs in delicious treats, but not on the roads where it is deadly to birds.
It is quite obvious for those who live in snow country that salting roads in the winter to keep travelers safe is necessary, but salt also causes environmental problems.
The dead or stilted plants that grow on the roadsides is an obvious effect of salting roadways.
But how does it affect our wonderful songbirds that grace our gardens?
Wild birds require grit to grind their food and road salt is often ingested as it is mistaken for stone by the birds.
There are alternatives:
What can you do at home?
1. You can make your own brine recipe by mixing 2 lbs. of salt per gallon of water. Add a glass of sugar beet juice to get the ultimate de-icer.
2. Mix 3 cups white vinegar with 1 cup lukewarm water in a spray bottle and spray on icy windows or walkways.
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#5 Must Do For Bird Watching Guide December
5. Give Your Cat A Christmas Present!
Buy your cat a Christmas present, get an outdoor cat enclosure!
Or give a cat owner you know, a gift of knowledge, about how much damage cats can do to birdlife populations.
Many cat owners also do not realize that indoor cats live longer, by years, than pet cats that are allowed to roam the neighbourhood who can be injured or contract diseases.
Cats, domestic pets and feral, are the #1 killer of songbirds!
#6 Must Do For Bird Watching Guide December
6. Keep Up The Good Work!
You guessed it, clean those feeders!
Use disinfectant wipes to make things easier when cleaning bird feeders by wiping seed ports and perches, in-between washings.
Have you been regularly cleaning your bird bath at least 1 to 3 times per week or more if needed?
Whether heated or not, keeping our backyard friends from getting sick through dirty feeders and baths is of utmost importance.
Keep up the good work!
#7 Must Do For Bird Watching Guide December
7. What Will You Add To Your Plan From The Bird Watching Guide December?
Has anything happened this past month that you would like to change for next year?
What date was the last time you saw a Hummingbird at your nectar feeder?
When did you first see northern visitors like Juncos, Redpolls or have you had a visitor for the first time?
Make note of these events in your plan because it is easy to forget and helpful to have them when making plans for next years bird feeding.
In the 7 Must Do’s To Help Backyard Birds In September #1 was to start an Attracting & Feeding Backyard Birds Plan.
Hopefully, the 7 Must Do’s From The Bird Watching Guide December is helpful for you and your backyard birds!
More About Winter Bird Feeding
- Winter Bird Feeding
Bird watching in the winter months provides many rewards for us. We
can’t help ourselves from wanting to assist them by putting out a bird
- How to Prepare for Winter Bird Feeding in 8 Steps?
It is important to know what needs to be done to make your winter bird
feeding efforts successful for your pleasure and for helping birds
- Where are they in Winter? A question often asked is answered: “I have been getting more birds
each summer, but why do they still completely disappear each winter?”
- Bird Watching Guide December The first month of the hard winter season is here. This guide provides direction through the busy holiday season to ensure our backyard buddies have the supplies they need to have a good winter.
- Bird Watching Guide January Bird feeding in the depths of January is wonderful to enjoy and a perfect time to plan for the coming year.
- Bird Watching Guide February There are two very important things that happen for wild birds in winter. Learn what they are.
The Other 3 Seasons
- Spring Bird Feeding An exciting time when wild birds return to their northern breeding grounds after their long migration.
- Summer Bird Feeding A very rewarding season to feed and house wild birds. There is such a variety of birdlife and feathered family activity to enjoy.
- Fall Bird Feeding
Some people think that bird feeding in the autumn is not a good idea.
They mistakenly believe that their feeders will keep the birds from
migrating. Find out the truth.