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Avian Invitations

Attracting birds to your home can bring music to your ears and improve the health of your yard or garden.

To invite flocks of feathered gems, you can begin by offering tokens of appreciation in the form of tasty treats. Of course, the exterior of your property should also be pesticide free.

Since many a park bench is filled with breadcrumb tossing patrons, for which urban pigeons are devoted, we will start with grain-based treats.

When it comes to baked goods, birds’ palettes are as varied as the color of their plumage. That said many breads and pastries entice multiple varieties of birds to fly hither.

Bread – attracts blackbirds, cardinals, crows, grackles, house sparrows, jays, magpies, mockingbirds, robins, starlings, and thrashers. It can be crumbled or torn into medium sized pieces. Serve on the ground in dry weather or in a tray feeder.

Cookies – attracts Carolina wrens, catbirds, chickadees, grackles, house sparrows, juncos, mockingbirds, robins, sparrows, and thrashers. Break cookies into pieces; in dry weather serve directly on the ground. Otherwise, place on a table or platter.

Doughnut – attracts Carolina wrens, chickadees, and titmice. Best served whole, on a plate or in a feeder.

Breakfast Cereal – attracts blackbirds, chickadees, house sparrows, juncos, mockingbirds, and sparrows. In dry weather, cereal can be sprinkled on the ground in medium sized pieces. In moist weather, place in a tray feeder.

Corn Chips – attracts blackbirds, cardinals, grackles, house sparrows, juncos, magpies, meadowlarks, sparrows, and tanagers. Crumble and serve in a tray feeder.

But we mustn’t forget that some birds prefer a liquid diet, such is the case with hummingbirds. Hummingbirds are also known for their love of bold colors. To attract them, “nectar” can be made using sugar water. If served in the faux flower fixture many hummingbird fanatics are accustomed to, no color is necessary. If, however, you serve it in another, less festive container or if you simply like the novelty of colored nectar, you can dilute the sugar water with a few drops of natural red dye or imbue it with hibiscus.

For an every-bird pleaser, mix equal parts peanut butter and black sunflower seeds. It may even be a treat you’d like to nip at as well. Place this snack on a saucer or platter, perched atop a table to ensure it isn’t ruined by moisture or consumed by ants (who happen to love peanut butter). You can also slather it onto a pine-cone and hang it, like an edible ornament, from your trees.

Supermarket Super Garden, Jerry Baker, Copyright 2008 by Jerry Baker. Published by American Market Productions, Inc. / Jerry Baker


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