About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

How to encourage birds to nest in your backyard

Bird feeders may contribute to a bird deciding to nest early in your yard. Recent research studies show that birds with access to bird feeders often lay their eggs earlier than those without feeders and typically have better rates of survival.

Many of the birds that visit feeders and baths may stay and nest in bird houses or nearby trees and bushes. Feeders also allow breeding females to spend less time searching for food and more time selecting better nesting sites and constructing higher quality nests. The adults will also have more time available for protecting their nest, eggs and young from predators.

Nesting season can vary depending on the species of bird, the weather conditions, food availability, and many other variables. Some larger birds like owls, hawks, and eagles may begin courting in December and nest in January and February.

Woodpeckers can begin selecting a place to nest in January through March. Tufted titmice breed from March to May. Blue Jays breed from March through July. American Robins, House finches, Carolina wrens and Northern Cardinals breed between March and August. We get calls every spring about these birds making their nests in holiday wreaths so please remove all winter decorations now before a momma bird selects it for a home.

Black-capped Chickadees and Eastern Bluebirds usually begin scouting for bird houses in February and can nest any time from March to July. Most breeding for Tree swallows, House Wrens and White-breasted Nuthatches is done between early May and June. In some areas the Mourning Doves nest almost year round, from February to October, because they feed their young “crop milk”. While American Goldfinches wait to nest until late July to September when the thistles and other flowers are producing a reliable supply of fluff to make their nests and seeds for their young.

Related Articles:

Bird Nest Basics http://bit.ly/sqNq0u
Is it too early to put up a birdhouse? http://bit.ly/tmN9rj
How do you know when a nest is abandoned? http://bit.ly/usMPY8
Goldfinches: The Last Birds Nesting http://bit.ly/sqafTq
5 Tips to Attract Birds to Nest in your Bird Houses http://bit.ly/uWN7fE
Common Backyard Bird Nest Identification http://bit.ly/sVfipj

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