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.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Eggshells in the garden

Recycle your Easter Egg Shells
Cornell Lab of Ornithology and other scientists believe that pollution depletes calcium carbonate in the environment which results in a reduced population of some songbirds. But you can help by giving birds additional natural calcium by mixing eggshells with your seed.

Rinse the eggshells and put them in a bag in the freezer. When you have a dozen stored up, spread them out on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes at 250 degrees to make them safe for bird consumption. Or put them on a plate or paper towel in the microwave on high for about 1.5 to 3 minutes.

Have fun smashing the shells into pieces and scatter on a platform feeder or mix with your seed. You can offer eggshells year-round. Eggshells are about 95% calcium carbonate which is important especially in the spring when females need it to produce their own eggs. Also birds “chew” their food in the muscular part of their stomach, the gizzard. To aid in the grinding, birds swallow small, hard materials such as sand, small pebbles or ground eggshells. Putting eggshells on the menu may even attract species that don’t usually come to seed feeders, like orioles, gnatcatchers, and some species of warblers.

And for gardeners, eggshells around the base of plants deters snails and slugs from crossing the sharp eggshells barrier to reach your plants. It also boosts the nutrients in the soil and can be mixed together with dried coffee grounds, which provides a high content of nitrogen, to keep your plants healthy.

Related articles:
What’s the best suet for Michigan wild birds? http://bit.ly/z7Eurx
What can I feed the cardinals to make them redder? http://bit.ly/vn2HK3
Feeding the birds will not make them "lazy," or "dependent." http://goo.gl/gCXCf
Choosing the best bird seed http://goo.gl/jrpDX
What seeds do wild birds eat? http://bit.ly/wKyQNB
How can birds survive this cold weather? http://bit.ly/xbkaPP

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