Things You Can Do To Help Migrating Birds
Migrating birds face many diverse challenges. Their success is dependent on a number of unknowns over which they have no control --the most important of which are availability of food and safe habitat. When they need a much needed rest from strenuous flying, you can provide an attractive and safe haven by doing just a few things:
1 - Keep kitty inside! Even if you don't think your cat kills birds, just the appearance of a cat in the yard causes birds to stop feeding and causes alarm. This happens at a critical time for them as they need to keep their energy up while migrating, and cannot waste valuable energy watching out for and escaping predators.
2 - Plant more native trees and plants in your yard. Native plants are what birds rely upon for food during migration and throughout the year. Native plants provide exactly the nutrition they need at the time they need it, and they create a beautiful landscape for you and the wildlife.
3 - Organic gardening is the way to go! Pesticides are a quiet killer of all wildlife and can eventually harm humans. Replacing chemicals with natural or organic pest deterrents is a safe and effective way to garden.
4 - Birds see trees reflected in plate glass or see through glass corridors to the other side and don't realize the glass is solid. Protect birds from glass collisions at your house by breaking up the clear glass visually or installing netting on windows that have a lot of collisions. Flap.org has ideas on making your home bird friendly -- including simple things like relocating bird feeders very close to the windows to moving plants away from windows so birds don't think they can land on them -- and info on bird collisions.
You may make these changes to your yard for migrating birds, but they will benefit resident birds and all wildlife year round, and will make your home safer and more attractive for your family as well.