It is Springtime and with it comes another kind of nesting and home building, the kind done so industriously by our feathered friends. Now, some of them keep second homes in the Prescott area and only need to fly in, freshen things up a bit or make a few repairs. Others, maybe newly fledged last year and returning home this year as young adults, must go about building their new home from the foundation up, a first home for them, a sort of winged version of a first-time home buyer.
How can we help?
- Plant or cultivate native bushes, shrubs, flowers, and trees that attract the insects they nosh on and grow the berries they enjoy.
- Use alternative sprays, not chemical pesticides that compromise their food sources.
- Keep your kitty cats indoors especially during baby bird season. Side benefit? Indoor kitty cats are safe from roaming critters and those soaring overhead on the lookout for their next meal.
- DO NOT offer yarn, string or human hair for nesting material. I’ve read that every year bird rescues receive wild birds, both babies and adults, with this type of material wrapped around their feet. This can result in the bird losing a foot or leg from the material slowly cutting off circulation.
- DO NOT offer laundry dryer lint. Seems like a wonderful, soft and cushy option, right? Well, it may be steeped with chemicals from detergent and softener again not so good for our bird friends young or adult.
- So, what about pet fur/hair? Ask yourself do you treat your pet with flea & tick repellent? Those chemicals are nasty stuff that can again be potentially harmful to both young and adult birds.
In this area our feathered friends can find plenty of natural materials for nest building including twigs, dried leaves, grasses, reeds, flower stems pine straw, mosses and even snakeskin sheds! This and the food sources available are one of the reasons birding is such a wonderfully rewarding past time here. I’ve heard we are on a natural migratory fly way but don’t take it from me. Learn from the experts and super friendly folks at Jay’s Bird Barn located at 1046 Willow Creek Road, Suite 105 (Safeway Shopping Plaza), give them a call at 928-443-5900 or check out their cache of birding information via their website https://www.jaysbirdbarn.com/.
Another great place? Highlands Center for Natural History at 1375 South Walker Road in Prescott. Have experienced this special place personally. This science-based non-profit really does foster an appreciation of the wonders around us by inviting discovery through hikes, lectures, and their pure enthusiasm. Learn more from their website https://highlandscenter.org/ or give them a call at 928-776-9550. Be patient, they are mostly volunteer staffed.