Bird Watching Guide October 7 Must Dos To Help Wild Birds

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7 Must Do’s To Help Backyard Birds
In October

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bird watching guide october

Bird watching guide October is all about getting ready and being prepared to help wild birds, as the weather is changing and the birds who don’t migrate are looking around to see what’s available to eat and making notes about the location.

Then when winter hits hard, they are spending less energy seeking out food sources, because they already know where the lunch counters are reliable.

There is no need to be concerned either that leaving feeders up will hinder species that migrate from leaving when they should.

Full bird feeders only create a better chance of survival for migrating birds as they will be better prepared with full tummies and fat bodies.

The extra fat they gain during their fall gorging at natural sources such as plants with seeds and fruit and your bird feeders, is the lunch box they will feed on during their travels.

The extra body weight they gain in fall will be all used up during their migration, so it is terribly important that they have the opportunity to build it up and bird feeders can help.

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Why Are Ideas On Caring For Backyards Important For Helping Wild Birds?

might be wondering why I am including this in these lists of actions. It is simple. It will help us all help backyard birds.

Simply stated, sometimes we forget that all things in nature are connected.

we focus on having a perfectly manicured yard by using weed killers and
chemical fertilizers which both require copious
amounts of water to keep our grass looking short and lush, but unfortunately this type of lawn does not support wild birds well.

There is already so very little space left for birds to eat and support their families and our forests are growing quiet.

Sometimes we don’t notice the changes because our lives are busy looking after our own life and families.

But our wild birds are quickly disappearing and it is within our ability to save them.

It is my intention to encourage as many people as possible through the Bird Watching Guide Series, to be aware of all the many things we can do to save our feathered friends.

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Bird Watching Guide October ~ 7 Must Dos

Let these 7 must dos to help wild birds in October from our bird watching guide series be an easy reminder for you:

#1 Must Dos For Bird Watching Guide October

1.    Perform Bird House Maintenance

Do you have bird houses?

  1. Then it is time to remove old nests, bits of remaining egg shell, and anything else that does not need to remain.
  2. Wipe it out with a disinfectant.
  3. Let it dry thoroughly.
  4. Adding some clean dry grass will be a welcome sign to potential bird parents in the Spring, who are looking for a new home to raise their family, that this bird house is well maintained

Need a new bird house?

This is the perfect time of year to erect a new bird house in your yard.

The birds who have not migrated will notice a new house and those that spend the winter in your area, will have a chance to become acquainted with it.

Setting a bird house up in the fall will make it much more likely that the birds will choose to use it in the spring.

And some feathered friends may use your house as a sheltered place to spend a cold winter night if it is clean and welcoming. More on that further down.

So, after you decide on the type of bird house you want, go shopping here!

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#2 Must Dos For Bird Watching Guide October

2.    Add Bird Friendly Plants, Trees & Bushes

What does bird friendly mean?

Plants, bushes and trees that are native to your area, are always the best choice, as they will better supply the birdlife in your area with what they need.

Planting bird friendly bushes, trees and other plants in the autumn, that provide food and nesting material next spring and summer will be a big benefit to your local birds.

Consider native evergreen plants that provide protection, food and shelter all year for birds.

Native plants always survive easier with less care, than non-native plants and produce more food for birds.

Find out your likely frost date as that will be important for fall planting from The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Also, knowing what hardiness zone you live in will help with the choices of what plants to include in your plan.

Canada’s Plant Hardiness Zones

USA Plant Hardiness Zones

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#3 Must Dos For Bird Watching Guide October

3.    Roosting Boxes

Are places for birds to “curl” up in for the night on your fall to do list?

No… Then it should be!

The nights are getting colder in most places in the Northern Hemisphere and wild birds are feeling it too.

You can help them find a protected spot that is warm and dry by erecting roosting boxes or roosting pockets.

Roosting boxes are different than bird houses, but a bird house can be used by birds as a place to spend the night too.

Roosting boxes though, are constructed differently, so they keep the heat in that precious little bird bodies produce.

Learn more about ways to add Roosting Places to your yard.

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#4 Must Dos For Bird Watching Guide October

4.    Is Your Seed Good Quality Seed?

This is the best season to make sure your seed will be the best for sustaining birds through their travels or winter season.

Is your seed mature?

When cracked open, does it contain a good chunk of “meat” for the birds to eat? Or is the shell half empty?

If the shells are not full, you may lose visitors as they decide it is just not worth the effort to crack open a shell to discover it is only half full, or empty.

Vote, “yay” or “nay,” for your seed supplier by what you purchase there.

Be honest and upfront about the bird food they carry, if it is not good quality and why. It may help them to stock better bird food in the future.

And be sure to let them know if their bird food is great!

Learn more about wild bird seed here.

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#5 Must Dos For Bird Watching Guide October

5.    Clean It All!

Yes, again, it is a new month!

Wash all bird feeders, poles, hooks.

Bird baths need to be washed more often than once per month. You know your weather and if you are still experiencing hot days, then bird baths need to be washed and filled with fresh water, often.

Feeders too, for that matter, need washing more often than once per month, if it is hot all year where you feed birds.

Use disinfectant wipes on seed ports and perches when refilling feeders’ in-between washes, to keep your feeders healthy for birds. Makes it easier for you and reduces the chance of spreading disease from one bird to another.

Directions for how to best clean bird feeders and bird baths.

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#6 Must Dos For Bird Watching Guide October

6.    Don’t Cut Your Lawn. WHAT?

Let parts of it go to seed for the birds to enjoy!

Some of you will be horrified to hear this and others will be rejoicing!!!

This practice will be a welcome treat for birds, and you, as you will attract different birds who do not normally come to feeders but prefer to eat from the ground in more sheltered areas.

With a few bushes, trees and naturally growing grass, create a small “wild area” in your yard. 

This area will make a treasure spot for birds and will surprise you at how many birds will show up that you have not had before.

Butterflies and other insects will love it too, which in turn will invite even more birds for you to enjoy like Thrushes and Warblers.

If you invite some of your neighbours to join you in letting small wild areas develop in their yards adjacent to yours then an exciting wildlife refuge could develop for all to enjoy!

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#7 Must Dos For Bird Watching Guide October

7. Attracting & Feeding Backyard Birds Plan

Any changes or ideas you need to add to your Attracting & Feeding Backyard Birds Plan?

You can add a bird house to your yard sketch.

Have you added any bird friendly plants, trees and bushes yet to your overall plan?

Are there sheltered areas in your outside space where birds could get a good winter rest?

Do you have an area suitable for wildness?

Do you have neighbours who also might like to join you in this idea?

Hopefully you have found Bird Watching Guide October with 7 Must Do’s a help.

You can have a downloaded PDF when you subscribe to my newsletter Wild Bird Scoop News.

Not a newsletter subscriber yet? Sign up on one of the forms on this site or click here.

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More On Fall Bird Feeding

  • 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.

The Other 3 Seasons

  • 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
  • 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 bird life and feathered family activity to enjoy.

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