(StatePoint) When hosting neighbors and friends for spring gatherings, your thoughts may dwell on accommodating guests. But how often do you consider your animal visitors?
“During spring, flocks of birds migrate and are looking for places to refuel and rest,” says Spencer Schock, founder of WindowAlert, makers of bird-friendly products for homes. “A few small tweaks to your yard is like placing out a welcome mat.”
Unfortunately, migration is not without peril or hardship, but Schock says turning your home into a refuge for birds can be fun and add beauty to your yard. He offers these tips to keep feathered travelers safe during their migratory journey.
• Protect flight: Millions of birds die annually by striking glass, making windows a hazard to birds in flight. Try applying special decals that reflect ultraviolet sunlight to your home’s windows, particularly those windows that are highly reflective of open sky.
The decals won’t affect your view because they’re virtually invisible to humans, but will help keep birds safe. For example, those from WindowAlert have patterns that give the appearance of slightly frosted translucent glass, but glow like a stoplight for birds. The brand also makes a high-tech liquid called WindowAlert UV Liquid, which can be applied between decals.
Such ultraviolet decals have been scientifically proven to keep birds safer. A 2015 American Bird Conservancy Study found that the more WindowAlert decals that were applied to a piece of glass covering the departure point of a flight tunnel, the more birds avoided it (a net protected all the birds in the study from actually getting hurt, no matter where they chose to fly).
• Bed and Breakfast: Birdfeeders come in all shapes, sizes and styles, and simply adding one to your yard can help beautify it and give birds the energy needed to continue their flight.
Remember though, bird strikes are often a problem near bird feeders, as feeding birds are easily frightened and are apt to take wild, evasive flight; position feeders closer than three feet or farther than 30 feet from windows. If your feeder is close to the window, birds fly away from the house. Believe it or not, the safest type of feeder is the kind that attach to the window itself.
You can also make your home’s outdoor spaces more bird-friendly by filling your garden with the right plants and flowers for pollinating bird species.
• Watch and record: Grab a pair of binoculars and a field guide book and take note of the types of birds you see and when. This will help you become better prepared for next season. In addition, consider becoming a “citizen scientist” by submitting your observations to The Audubon Society and Cornell University’s database at ebird.org.
For more tips on making your home and garden a bird haven, visit WindowAlert.com.
“By making a few simple modifications to your yard and home, you can assist birds on their long journey,” says Schock.