A Word From The Birds
Spring is in the air! March 20th is the first day of spring. Cannot wait! March is also the month we celebrate St. Patrick's Day, the wearing of the green and the month they call March Madness, it is playoff time for college basketball. Seems like there is a lot going on in March and there is. Here at the garden center all the new stuff is coming in and we are stocking the shelves. The fruit trees are coming in and we start bringing in all the mulches and stone and everything you need to start your gardens. The seeds have been in stock for a while now and all the stuff you need to start them with. As the snow melts and we start getting some warm days we get the bug to go out and start cleaning the flower beds and getting everything ready for the new growing season ahead, so come in and see us and let us help you get ready for another great growing season. We can help you from seeds to soil, from plants to trees, from mulches to pavers, you get the picture. We are looking forward to another great year of gardening.
March is also a time for the birds. We just celebrated a time when we buy cards and chocolate for the ones we care about and show them that they are special to us, will in March the birds do the same thing. No they do not buy cards or chocolate, but they do start singing and showing off their colors to attract a mate. Look for the bright red cardinal perched high up in the tree singing his heart out, trying to attract a mate. Watch your feeders as you may see a finch or cardinal grab a seed and give it to the female, trying to win her over. These mating rituals continue throughout the summer months.
I know you are tired of trudging through the snow to fill your feeders, but don't stop now, they still need your help. You can change you seed mix a little like cutting back on the millet and adding more black-oily sunflower or add a seed with some fruit in it, but don't stop feeding them. The rewards of backyard birding are just around the corner. If you liked watching the birds this past winter just wait till you see what they have in store for you this spring. There is a kind of changing of the guard you might say. Some birds will be heading north, like the dark-eyed juncos and several species of sparrows, while other ones like the scarlet tanager and the Baltimore oriole will be coming back, you will see birds passing through that you had not seen all winter. You will also see birds like the robin at your feeder because there main food source is not ready yet. Keep your eyes open as spring comes and winter goes and watch what Mother Nature has in store for you and our feathered friends. You will not be disappointed!
This is also the time of year we need to make sure our nesting boxes are cleaned and ready to go and all our nectar feeders are clean and ready to go. The nesting boxes need to be cleaned out and put back up if you took them down for the winter. The birds will be finding their mates and then looking for that special place to rise their little ones. We need to start putting nesting material out for them, yes they can find material on their own, but if we put nesting material out it will draw them to our yard and they will stay around all summer raising their family and we can watch as we sit in our back yard sipping ice tea and enjoying the show. It is still a little early for the nectar feeders, but we do not want to wait to last minute and miss them. The orioles come back before the humming birds so we want to ready for them first. Did you know orioles love grape jelly, they do and there is a special feeder for that! I put my jelly feeder out around the last week of March just in case we have an early arrival. Last year we did have a pair that started feeding the last week of March; it was so neat to see them and listen to them sing to each other. You will not want to miss the oriole, once you get them to your yard you will want to keep them there, they are a very neat bird to watch.
I could go on and on about what we need to do to get ready for spring, for the birds and for our gardens, but I don't want to bore you so I will close for now. If you have any question or you need any help come see us or visit us on our Facebook page, we are looking forward to helping you have a great growing season and a wonderful spring and summer of watching the birds. See you real soon.
March Feeding Tips
||Feed Nyjer seed for birds like Goldfinches that are here all winter.
- Increase your Black-Oily Sunflower this month and cut back on the White Millet.
- Increase your Black-Oily Sunflower seed to 75% and decrease your Millet to 20% and keep Safflower and Shelled Peanuts at 5%.
- Just because spring is just around the corner it is still cold at night so provide seed late in the day and early in the morning to help birds stay warm at night and get a burst of energy at dawn. Birds need food to stay warm.
- Sprinkle extra White Millet on the ground in a snow-free area or on ground tray to feed the Juncos, remember as the weather gets warmer you will see them less and less.
- I know it has been a long winter and you're getting tired of going out in the snow to fill your feeders so try using seed blocks. They last longer than regular seed and there is not as much waste. Pick blocks with lots of Black-Oily Sunflower in them. A good seed block last up to a couple weeks.
- Do not forget about feeding Dried Meal Worms and Dried Fruit, the birds will love you for it. Feed these mixed in with your seed or by themselves. Use a platform feeder for this. The Robins will love the added fruit.
- Keep feeding the Nyjer seed. The Goldfinches are here all winter and they will be looking for this seed. You my even see a Pine Siskin at your feeder. The Finches also like Black-Oily Sunflower seed so feed this in a clinger style feeder for them. Watch as the yellow color gets brighter and brighter on the Goldfinches, they reach their full color in April.
- Do not forget to join our bird seed club! It is a good way to get FREE stuff. Look us up on Facebook, and please do not forget the water!!!
March Suet Tips
||Hang suet feeders right on the tree trunk to attract Woodpeckers.
- Remember the nights are still cold and the birds need the high-calorie, fatty suets to stay warm at night.
- Remember to hang your suet feeders where the birds can find them and you can see them. Hang one right on the tree truck to attract Woodpeckers, Nuthatches, and Creepers. These birds look for food on the tree's bark.
- Remember too that suet last longer than loose seed and is easy to feed and that means you can spend more time watching and less time going out in the cold.
- Keep feeding Fatty Suets this month. You will switch to the no-melt dough suets when the weather gets warmer.
- Feeding suet with fruit in it will bring in the birds that eat fruit, like the Cedar Waxwings; also the Robins will pick the fruit from the suet.
- Remember to join the Bird Seed Club. You can also find us on Facebook.
- Feeding suet in more than one location and using different styles of suet feeders will bring more activity to your yard.
- Remember the water!!