Attracting Songbirds to your yard by WebWolf


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									Attracting Songbirds to Your Yard

       Wolf Mountain Birdhouses
                               Wolf Mountain Birdhouses
                                  184 Billie Hill Road
                               Hilham, Tennessee 38568


Thank you for requesting the Wolf Mountain Birdhouses e-book, Attracting Songbirds to
Your Yard. This e-book is a complete collection of articles written by Gene Wolf, CFO
of Wolf Mountain Birdhouses. These articles have appeared on hundreds of web sites
across the world, has earned an E-zine author status of expert and has acquired a
following of literally thousands of people.

This e-book with cover topics such as what to look for when buying a birdhouse (yes,
you should shop carefully!), where to set them, how to attract specific birds, how to
protect the birds you do attract from cats, what to consider when moving or building a
new home, how you can attract birds to the workplace, and so much more.

These articles have been published over time on literally hundreds of websites worldwide
and now you have them collected in one place. I hope you enjoy them and rest assured
more articles are on the way.

Gene Wolf has written one other e-book dedicated specifically to attracting
hummingbirds to your yard. You can see the proof that this works by looking at the
videos posted to the Wolf Mountain Birdhouses website at These videos were
taken a month apart to demonstrate that the first time was not a fluke. Take a look at the
videos and if you want results like this in your yard purchase the e-book from the Wolf
Mountain Birdhouses store. For only $7.95 you can have this comprehensive e-book
dedicated to a single bird, the hummingbird, and all of the methods of attracting it to your
yard learned in over 8 years of trial and error. You’ll learn such things as:

   •   What specific plants will attract hummingbirds like a bird magnet
   •   If you live in an apartment what things you can do to get hummingbirds to come
   •   What not to do. Many people inadvertently kill hummingbirds and they don’t
       even know it
   •   You should consider plants that attract butterflies even though hummingbirds
       don’t necessarily like the same flowers. We tell you why.

And so much more. You will not find this collection of information anywhere on the
   web in a single place. If you’re interested please check out You will not
   be disappointed.

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                                       Copyright 2010
                                                       Wolf Mountain Birdhouses
                                                          184 Billie Hill Road
                                                       Hilham, Tennessee 38568


All Birdhouses Are Safe, Aren't They?.............................................................................................................................8
Cats and Birds - Can't We All Just Get Along?..............................................................................................................12
Keeping Wild Birds in Your Yard Means Summer Work Too.......................................................................................14
Moving Or Starting New Construction? Don't Forget Our Feathered Friends!...............................................................18
Time To Check Your Birdhouses...................................................................................................................................20
When You Buy a Birdhouse What Should You Look For?..............................................................................................4
You Can Attract Birds to Your Yard With These Plants.................................................................................................10
You've Done Your Homework Selecting a Birdhouse, Now What?.................................................................................6
You've Set Up Your Birdhouses - Go One Step Further.................................................................................................16

                                                                        Page 3
                                                                     Copyright 2010
                                Wolf Mountain Birdhouses
                                   184 Billie Hill Road
                                Hilham, Tennessee 38568


When You Buy a Birdhouse What Should
 You Look For?
Do you like the calls of birds in your backyard early in the morning or towards the end of
the day when you've had a rough day at work? Most people do. Whether you live in an
apartment or own your own home a birdhouse is a great way of attracting these colorful
songsters to your home. Just like anything else though you should be making an informed
purchase. Many birds look for specific things before using a birdhouse as their home and
many birdhouse builders do not take these preferences into consideration. If you don't
make an informed decision you may end up greatly disappointed with the birds that
occupy the house you purchased. So, just what kind of qualities does a bird look for in a

The first thing a bird looks for is that the floor space inside is large enough to contain the
nest they prefer. There is a certain about of variance and some birds are not at all choosy
but many are. A birdhouse floor area that is too large or too small will discourage a bird
from nesting there. A good birdhouse will be designed for a specific species of bird and
that includes the floor space available for their particular nest.

Another aspect of a birdhouse that many people do not take into consideration and many
builders completely ignore is the height above the floor that the entry hole is placed. If
the entry is too close to the floor this invites attacks from predators going after eggs or
young birds. Too high and the young birds will have difficulty getting out when its time
to leave the nest. Many songbirds are very picky about the distance the entry hole is
above the floor.

Almost everyone has seen a neighborhood cat stalking a bird. Many do not see the same
cat or a squirrel making an attack on a nest. Another important aspect for selecting a
home for many bird species is how well it will protect eggs and young birds from
predators. Flimsy, thin walls that are typical of many cheap birdhouses give little
protection from a determined cat or squirrel. When selecting a birdhouse for the birds you
want to attract select one that is sturdy and well built. Think about the birdhouse you're
looking at and picture that neighborhood cat trying to get at the young birds. Will it stand

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                                        Copyright 2010
                               Wolf Mountain Birdhouses
                                  184 Billie Hill Road
                               Hilham, Tennessee 38568


If you talk to a birdhouse builder and ask about the entrance hole of the birdhouse many
will say, "It really doesn't matter. Any bird will use this house." That's when you should
look elsewhere. While the statement is true it ignores the fact that many birds are driven
out of their nesting area by other aggressive birds taking over the birdhouse. This can
happen simply because the entrance hole was made generic and not designed for the
species you want to attract. You don't want to put the time, money and effort of attracting
birds to your yard to see the birdhouse taken over by another species just because the
entrance hole was not designed for the species you wanted.

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                                       Copyright 2010
                               Wolf Mountain Birdhouses
                                  184 Billie Hill Road
                               Hilham, Tennessee 38568


You've Done Your Homework Selecting a
  Birdhouse, Now What?
You've selected the type of bird you want to attract and have done your homework.
You've selected a home with the right size floor space, the right size entry hole and the
right height above the floor for the location of the hole. You've done as much as you can
to protect the home from predators. This column now tells the beginning birder what to
do to help attract birds to the backyard.

You can say to yourself, "I want many Eastern Bluebirds in my small backyard so I'll put
up 10 houses and they'll flock to my yard, right?" Don't waste your money. Some birds,
like the Eastern Bluebird are very territorial and that territory is quite large. If you have
many Eastern Bluebirds houses near each other you can almost guarantee that only one of
them will be used by the Eastern Bluebird. Other species may use the other homes but
those may be species you're not interested in.

If you have a small yard your safest bet is to set up a couple of houses. Have one for an
insect eating species and another for a seed eating species. This way a breeding pair is not
competing with another species for mates or for food and they would be generally
agreeable to share their territory. Other birds, such as the Barn Swallow enjoy communal
living. They do not require a territory anywhere near as large as the Bluebird and you
could easily place several nesting shelves within 15-20 feet of each other without a
problem. It all depends on the type of bird you want to attract so do your homework.

The houses are in place for the birds you want in your backyard and you've set them up
so it's difficult for predators to get to them. Is there anything else you should do? You
know I wouldn't have asked that if the answer was no. Imagine being a small bird and
having to build a next far larger than yourself. It's quite a bit of work. If you could help
by providing nesting material you cut down on the work and make it more attractive for
birds to live nearby. Fur taken from pets during grooming or brushing always works well.
If you shred your documents you can also put those strands of paper, minus any
cellophane, out in your yard and birds will use that as well.

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                                       Copyright 2010
                               Wolf Mountain Birdhouses
                                  184 Billie Hill Road
                               Hilham, Tennessee 38568


The houses are in place and you have material set out that the birds can use for nesting
material. Is there anything else you can do? If you are trying to attract seed eating birds a
nearby feeder with the food they prefer will help a great deal. It will also help cut down
on any territorial protection if they determine the food supply is plentiful. Put the food
and the birdhouses out early. Birds returning from their wintering grounds often find it
difficult to locate a good food source immediately. With a nearby nesting spot designed
just for them and a plentiful food supply you are definitely putting out the welcome home
sign for your backyard friends!

                                          Page 7
                                       Copyright 2010
                               Wolf Mountain Birdhouses
                                  184 Billie Hill Road
                               Hilham, Tennessee 38568


All Birdhouses Are Safe, Aren't They?
If you're reading this you care about birds. You want to attract them to your yard. You
want them to raise a family or two there and you want to hear their lively calls and antics
at the feeder or the birdbath. You're probably shopping for a birdhouse and you're
confused at which one to buy because there's just so many on the web. Fancy ones, plain
ones, high priced ones, and cheap ones. They all do the same job right? Just pick one and
put it up and enjoy the birds. If you do that and don't look a bit deeper into just what went
into the birdhouse you've selected you may just be dooming the very birds you want to

"Silent Spring" was published in 1962. If you're a bird lover you probably know about it
and know that it's been credited with starting the modern environmental movement. It
was a book that was vilified by the chemical industry and some scientists alike. What we
now know with 20/20 hindsight is that some birds were severely affected by DDT when
it was used as a crop pesticide. The eggshells of eagles, ospreys, and falcons were found
to get very thin when the birds were in contact with DDT. Nesting parents actually
crushed their eggs because they could not stand the weight of the parent the shells were
so thin. This is great history but does it have anything to do with the birdhouse you want
to purchase? You bet!

You've probably picked a birdhouse out online but what do you know about it? Does the
wood contain any preservatives, paints, or adhesives that could harm the birds you're
trying to attract? Ever been in a room where carpet was just put down? Many times the
fumes are almost overwhelming. Your eyes can water and your throat get sore.
Remember your birdhouse will be out in the summer heat. The inside of a birdhouse is a
small enclosed space. If the wood is treated or painted the heat can cause those fumes to
fill the home just like those rug fumes filled the room. Your birds will be breathing it
constantly. Is this what you want and, more importantly, is it good for them?

I was amazed when I read this fact sheet titled, INORGANIC ARSENICAL PRESSURE-
TREATED WOOD ( Read it for
yourself. It's only a year old. These are common wood preservatives and may be in the
birdhouse you're about to purchase. Is this the environment you want young developing
birds living and growing in? It's not what I want for birds in my backyard.

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                                       Copyright 2010
                              Wolf Mountain Birdhouses
                                 184 Billie Hill Road
                              Hilham, Tennessee 38568


Good. You've found a birdhouse that's built using no chemicals or paint. You're halfway
to making a great purchase for your birds! Now ask where does the wood come from and
how is it harvested? Was the birdhouse built in the US or in another country where the
environmental laws are more lax or even nonexistent? Was the wood harvested with the
idea of a renewable resource in mind or simply the result of using the wood that was not
profitable enough to use in any other way? You want to give your birds a welcoming
home year after year. Please look at all aspects of purchasing a birdhouse and make sure
the house you provide is safe for your feathered friends.

                                        Page 9
                                     Copyright 2010
                               Wolf Mountain Birdhouses
                                  184 Billie Hill Road
                               Hilham, Tennessee 38568


You Can Attract Birds to Your Yard With
  These Plants
OK, let's face it, most of us have yards that are quite spartan. Maybe we have a fence
around the yard. If we do it's either wire of some type of wood privacy fence or split rail.
The lawn is kept mowed relatively short and if you're lucky some kind of flowers are
planted that actually grow. From a birds point of view, ho-hum. Today I'm going to give
you some tips that will help you attract birds to your yard and add a little beauty at the
same time. You don't have to spend a lot to get birds to come to your yard no matter how
small it is.

If you have a small yard you need to use bird attracting plants that grow high simply to
allow the greatest use of the available space. You probably also need plants that are easy
to grow. Sunflowers fill the bill beautifully. There are sunflowers that are relatively low
growers to towering giants with very large seed heads. These will supplement the bird
feeders, bird baths and birdhouses you already have set up. They are also a natural
attraction to seed eating birds. With sunflowers you can modify the feed in a bird feeder
to attract other species that prefer a smaller seed. This way you're putting out a virtual
smorgasbord of food for your feathered friends

Larger yards have more options. Of course you can still do everything that someone with
a small yard does but you can also plant Hawthorne or Japanese Flowering Dogwood
trees. Hawthorns are smaller trees and attracts Cedar Waxwings and Cardinals with the
small fruit it bears. The tree also carries this fruit well into winter giving the birds a
lasting source of food. The Japanese Flowering Dogwood will grow 15 to 30 feet tall and
flowers in the early spring. The red berries it produces are also carried well into the
winter. What a wonderful way to know winter is over than to see these lovely trees bloom
in early spring and know that birds will be attracted to your yard. The limbs of both types
of trees will be used by birds for natural nesting places and you can also place a
birdhouse or two in them.

If you're lucky enough to have a large yard you have a ton of options. Needless to say
you can use any of the tips for a smaller or medium sized yard and you should.
Sunflowers are still an attractive option and Hawthorn and Japanese Dogwood will attract
birds just as well. You should also consider Crabapple trees. These trees grow 20 to 25
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                                       Copyright 2010
                               Wolf Mountain Birdhouses
                                  184 Billie Hill Road
                               Hilham, Tennessee 38568


feet in height but spread their boughs just as much. The small "apples" they produce are a
favorite for birds and they last well into February and March. Elderberry produces tons of
small berries and is easy to grow. It also provides nesting places for birds preferring to
nest closer to the ground.

You may be wondering at this point why I've mostly concentrated on plants that carry
their fruit well into winter and early spring. Remember birds will be returning back to
your yard in the early spring after a long migration trip that drains them. These birds are
scouting for nesting sites, that you should already have set up, and for a ready food
source. That early in the year food can be very hard to come by for them. If they see your
yard has a natural food source and nesting sites they are much more likely to stay. It's
easy for them to find food in the late spring and summer. In the early spring and fall it's
tougher. If they see plants they know can provide nesting places and food it's like you
have rolled out the welcome mat!

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                                       Copyright 2010
                               Wolf Mountain Birdhouses
                                  184 Billie Hill Road
                               Hilham, Tennessee 38568


Cats and Birds - Can't We All Just Get
Everyone knows I love birds. I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't. Many people don't know
I also love cats. My daughter also loves animals. I'm certain she inherited love of animals
from both her mother and me. She wants to save the world actually. She's an adult and
belongs to a sea turtle rescue organization. She has, over the years, rescued five feral cats
and somehow they have ended up in my backyard. Spayed and neutered of course, and
well fed and taken care of. So the question is how can a lover of both birds and cats
reconcile the activities of both?

There are some organizations that promote keeping cats indoors. This really is a good
idea for domestic cats but for cats that have grown up feral, and there are admittedly too
many, that's not an option. If you live in a neighborhood with neighbors close by you'll
always have a few that let their cats roam and there's little you can do about that either.
So what does someone who likes birds do when there are feral cats around or when the
neighbor's cat comes into your yard looking for a snack?

Ideally you should place your birdhouse as high into the bird's habitable zone as you can.
What I mean by a habitable zone is that height off the ground that a bird prefers. For
example a Violet-Green Swallow prefers to be 5-15 feet above the ground while the
Indigo Bunting prefers 2-10 feet. If you're trying to attract the Swallow place the house
15 feet above the ground and for the Bunting 10 feet. This puts as much distance between
your birds and any marauding cats as possible.

If you're mounting your birdhouse on a pole you have other options. Imagine if you have
a 4" x 4" post in the ground and 8 feet tall. Go to your local hardware store and purchase
a can of foam filler and a PVC pipe 5" in diameter and 8 foot long. Before mounting the
birdhouse put the PVC pipe over the post and sink it 6" into the ground. Then use the
foam to seal the exposed end of the pipe so water cannot get into it and it's not a trap for
small birds that might fall from the nest. The foam will expand and seal the pipe. It can
also be trimmed and painted to suit your landscape. This will prevent cats, and even
squirrels, from climbing to your birdhouse and attacking your birds.

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                                       Copyright 2010
                              Wolf Mountain Birdhouses
                                 184 Billie Hill Road
                              Hilham, Tennessee 38568


Even with the best precautions you're going to have fatalities. Be prepared for them.
While we don't like it it's a fact of life and there's only so much that can be done to
prevent it. We all love nature and most of us don't flinch when an Eagle or Osprey
snatches a fish from the water. Yes, they are hunting and no one is feeding them like they
do domestic cats. However cats cannot ignore their nature. It's what they do. Take all the
precautions you can and be satisfied that you are doing your best to help our feathered
friends survive and thrive. When you do have the unfortunate loss see if there's more you
can do to prevent it, maybe put up another birdhouse. Do not dwell on it because you are
doing all you can.

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                                      Copyright 2010
                               Wolf Mountain Birdhouses
                                  184 Billie Hill Road
                               Hilham, Tennessee 38568


Keeping Wild Birds in Your Yard Means
 Summer Work Too
You've done a great job this year! You decided on the types of birds you wanted to attract
and set out birdhouses designed just for them early. You've begun planting the flowers
that will attract and feed them as well as setting up the birdbaths they can use all summer
long. You've set up bird feeders and stocked it with their favorite foods. You can sit back
and relax now, right? Sorry, no. While it's not as hard as it was in the early spring in
setting up the houses and getting everything ready for your feathered friends you still
have work to do to ensure the well being of your birds.

Your responsibility to the birds you invited to join your family didn't end when you put
up a few birdhouses and set up feeders. For example, even though you have put out a
birdbath you should check it every few days to make sure it is still clean. Over the spring
and summer leaves may get into it from nearby trees. The combination of heat, sunlight
and water can also turn a clean birdbath into an unwelcoming slimy eyesore. Checking
your birdbaths every few days will ensure this doesn't happen. If you see algae trying to
get a foothold pour a cup of bleach into your birdbath and stand guard over it while it
does its work. After 5 minutes pour out the water, scrub it gently and refill your birdbath
with fresh clean water. It'll be a welcome sight to your birds once more.

Food, while easier to come by in the spring and summer, is still important. While your
birds and certainly find their own food this time of year helping them out is very
satisfying and it'll make the work of the birds you've invited to share your yard that much
easier. For the seed eaters, placing out a couple of feeders stocked with their favorite food
is pretty much all you have to do. You can even feed your insect eaters. You can
purchase live meal worms online for birds like Bluebirds. You need to put them in
something slippery like a glass bowl or one of those inexpensive plastic bowls you can
buy in the grocery store. I find the cheap Glad snap lid bowls that come 6 in a package to
work just fine. They are light, can be mounted on almost anything and you can place
them close to your insect eaters houses.

You've probably fed your birds in the winter. You have to understand that summer
feeding is much different than winter feeding. If you put out seed please check it
regularly to make sure it has not spoiled. The frequent thunderstorms of summer, sunlight
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                                       Copyright 2010
                                Wolf Mountain Birdhouses
                                   184 Billie Hill Road
                                Hilham, Tennessee 38568


and humidity can all cause seed to go bad very quickly. Check your feeders every few
days. If you notice you have a feeder that the birds are not using and the seed level is not
dropping it's probably time to clean it out and refill it. I'm embarrassed to say that I
learned years ago that heat and humidity can turn your seed into a cement like mass in
your feeder. Your birds don't appreciate it and it's a major pain to get cleaned out.

As mentioned earlier it's important to make sure your birds have an adequate supply of
fresh clean water. However one thing many people don't realize is that the placement of
your birdbath is critical and that does not necessarily mean right near your birdhouses. If
you place your birdbath near a hedgerow or even in your flower garden you may be
putting it in a perfect spot for stalking cats to lie in wait for your birds. Once in a birdbath
a bird can see for a distance but they cannot see nearby and under the birdbath because
their view is obstructed by the edge of the birdbath. If a cat was hiding in your flowers or
in the taller grass near a hedgerow you have set the perfect trap. Try to place your
birdbath in an area as open as possible so your birds can see the area clearly before going
to the birdbath. This will make it much more difficult for any stray cats to take advantage
of your birds.

In the spring and summer you can take it a bit easier but you still have a responsibility to
provide for the birds you invited into your yard. Enjoy the birdsong and the brilliant
flashes of movement and color but go the little extra distance to make it easier for your
little friends. It's very satisfying and isn't it worth it for what they give back to us?

                                            Page 15
                                         Copyright 2010
                               Wolf Mountain Birdhouses
                                  184 Billie Hill Road
                               Hilham, Tennessee 38568


You've Set Up Your Birdhouses - Go One
  Step Further
I usually write about birds and this article will be no exception, except, well, it won't be
just about birds. We're well into summer now and if you've done everything I've written
about over the last 7 months you should be enjoying beautiful songbirds in your yard.
There have probably been one or two hatchings in your birdhouses and you're now
enjoying the antics of our feathered friends along with your own friends and BBQ's.

Now is the time to sit back and enjoy all the hard work you did last fall, last winter and
early this spring. Watching your hard work pay off is always satisfying but I'm going to
give you some other ideas today that will pay dividends this fall and winter when you're
back to doing the things you have to do to keep your songbirds coming back.

Most of you probably have digital cameras. If not you should consider looking at them
because the prices for high quality digitals have come way down over the last few years.
Also consider getting a telephoto lens for your camera and a good, easy to use, tripod that
will hold your camera.

Find a window facing one of your occupied birdhouses and practice with your camera,
telephoto lens and tripod. Since digitals camera don't use film results are instantaneous
and you can always delete the photos you don't like. You can quickly build up a library of
hundreds of wonderful photos of the birds you have attracted to your yard. Here's where
it really gets fun!

I'm sure all of you have printers. Go to one of the large office supply stores in your area
and get some high quality printer paper. It doesn't have to be photo type paper but it can
be. The paper you purchase should be a high quality white paper. Get a few of your
favorite photos and print them on this nice paper. Whatever software you use to print
them can probably be used to resize your pictures. Just make sure when you resize the
images you maintain the aspect ratio or your Indigo Buntings may end up looking like
they've been run over by a steamroller.

Wal-Mart sells inexpensive picture frames that hold one or more pictures. Place the
pictures you've printed into the frames and decorate your home with them. Most of us
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                                        Copyright 2010
                               Wolf Mountain Birdhouses
                                  184 Billie Hill Road
                               Hilham, Tennessee 38568


have a hallway that is devoid of pictures. What a great place to display your own
pictures! What I like about this is you can change your pictures every few weeks if you
want! Once you have the frames, printing different pictures is quick and easy. You don't
have to be a photographer for National Geographic to get great photos of the birds in your

Feeling a little adventurous? Check out your local diner or coffee shop and ask if they
would like to display your photos. Most privately owned businesses love to have pictures
from local people displayed. You can take pride in your work and also see it displayed
for others to enjoy. You've worked hard so why not let others see what hard work can
result in. I'm sure you can think of other possibilities to show off your work. Remember,
this kind of item make perfect gifts for birthdays, Christmas, and other special occasions.
Go wild!

You can even get one of those electronic picture frames that show your pictures as a slide
show. They make great gifts as well and you can enjoy your pictures at work during the
bleak winter months when many of the songbirds have taken off for warmer climes.

If you do take my advice we'd love to see the pictures you've taken. Here at Wolf
Mountain Birdhouses we love our birds and we enjoy the millions of people who also
enjoy birds. We'll put the pictures we like on our website and attribute them to you by
posting your name and state. We'll change out pictures frequently so you can see what
others are doing and maybe get some ideas from what they have done.

Enjoy your summer!

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                                       Copyright 2010
                              Wolf Mountain Birdhouses
                                 184 Billie Hill Road
                              Hilham, Tennessee 38568


Moving Or Starting New Construction?
 Don't Forget Our Feathered Friends!
Many people and companies are relocating due to the current economic conditions. I am
no exception and just moved from Florida to Tennessee. While all circumstances of a
move are different you can use the information here to start getting songbirds into your

In my case I probably had it easiest because I was constructing a new site. Surrounded by
the Tennessee woods and mountains everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, took longer
than expected. Electricity, water, air conditioning, internet connections, everything was
accomplished way behind schedule. During the relocation I adopted the motto, "Pray for
the best but expect the worst." I weren't often disappointed.

Since this was new construction I had it easy as far as our feathered friends were
concerned. One of the first things I did was locate where I was going to place my feeders
and birdbaths. I wanted them up and active even before construction started. Since birds
are shy about new items in their environment I wanted feeders up quickly so they would
get used to them being there and start using them even as water lines were dug and
electric poles set up.

I also put up the birdbaths soon after the feeders were in place so the birds knew there
was both a source of food and water in the midst of all the chaos. The planning paid off.
While the birds didn't frequent the feeders while the construction was going on during the
workday they started coming a couple at a time after the workmen left for the day and
before the workmen arrived in the morning. Now that construction has stopped I'm being
visited by Hummingbirds, Juncos and American Goldfinches. The Goldfinches are
descending on us in droves. The Hummingbirds, well you just won't believe them.

If you're planning a move, especially new construction, try to locate where your feeders
and birdbaths will be placed as early as you can and get them up. If you're a business
owner and constructing a new building consider putting up bird feeders and birdbaths
near the employee break rooms outside the windows. Yeah, it sounds very unbusiness-
like but it's an intangible benefit that employees will appreciate. If you're an employee
and you have a break room with a window, suggest to the company the idea of putting up
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                               Wolf Mountain Birdhouses
                                  184 Billie Hill Road
                               Hilham, Tennessee 38568


bird feeders and even bird houses. Construction of new buildings sometimes removes
bird habitat. Putting up houses and feeders can help restore that habitat, it's not expensive
and everyone enjoys watching birds. It may even help to reduce stress by watching the
antics of colorful songbirds during a break in a hectic workday.

If you're moving to an existing home or business site you will probably spend
considerable time moving in, getting organized, etc. Consider your first task the location
of bird feeders, birdbaths and bird houses. It won't take long and the earlier you get it
done the sooner you will have birds coming to your location. Remember to place one or
more of the feeders and houses in view of a window in your home or business so you'll
be able to get some great pictures when the birds start arriving.

Once you are moved in you can plan the location of flower beds and determine what
flowers will work best in the locations available to plant them. This will take some time
and can be done once you've settled in. The feeders, birdbaths and houses however
should be your first priority.

Hopefully your move will be less stressful than mine was. It does help to see the birds
outside the window every morning and evening. My early work paid off and yours will

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                                        Copyright 2010
                                Wolf Mountain Birdhouses
                                   184 Billie Hill Road
                                Hilham, Tennessee 38568


Time To Check Your Birdhouses
Fall is almost here and in most parts of the country the nesting season is over. Most
people have Labor Day on their minds, putting away the summer clothes, getting the fall
stuff out of the attic or closet and getting ready for the cold weather that we know is
coming. There's one other thing you should be doing though and that's getting your yard
back into welcoming shape for the birds that will be coming next spring.

You may ask; why do it now? You've got to get the kids ready for school or do school
shopping for. You've got a very busy schedule with a million things that just have to be
done and spring is so far away. It certainly can wait can't it? No, not really. If you're like
me I put it off and then put it out of mind. Suddenly in late February I realize I haven't
done anything for my birds and it's too late at that time. Let me explain.

Most birds are very shy and suspicious. They'll check things out very carefully before
going near them. Birdhouses are a perfect case in point. Birdhouses may have to be up for
a couple of weeks before you're birds will pay any attention to them. If you put off
putting up birdhouses until you see the early birds arrive in the spring they have already
started looking for nesting sites. If you put up your birdhouses then you've missed the
best opportunity to attract those birds you want to your yard because they'll be wary of
something new suddenly springing up in their environment. If it's been there throughout
the winter they'll see it as soon as they arrive and check it out along with all the other
potential sites.

So what do you need to do now? First, clean out the birdhouses you already have up. You
have old nesting material in there and maybe a couple of nests. Did I say a couple? Yes.
Your birdhouses may have been attacked by the House Sparrow and often times they will
build a nest right over the one they found there that another bird was building or using.
This all needs to be removed. I strongly suggest wearing gloves when you do this. Those
rubber or latex ones you buy in the store work well. I suggest this because the old nest
may have insects living in it, like ticks, and you don't want them on you. Your birdhouse
may also be the home to spiders and bees so you should take precautions when you begin
cleaning. Ideally your birdhouse has an easy to open clean out port that makes this job

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                              Wolf Mountain Birdhouses
                                 184 Billie Hill Road
                              Hilham, Tennessee 38568


While you have the clean out port open check the house itself. Is it in good condition?
Will it offer the coming birds protection through next year? Is it now cracked and coming
apart? If the birdhouse needs replacing you have time since you're starting early. Leave
the birdhouse in place but order a new one right away and when it arrives replace the old
one. Once all of your birdhouses are replaced consider putting up additional ones.
Remember, the fledglings that left this year will be returning to have families of their
own. They will need other living space. One or two additional birdhouses would be a
welcome sight when they return in the spring. You may also ask yourself if your
birdhouse attracted the kind of bird you wanted in your yard. If not your should consider
getting a birdhouse built specifically for the birds you want to attract.

One other thing that you may consider is setting up a birdhouse with a camera inside. The
birds will ignore it but you can watch the development of your birds all year long on your
TV or even your computer. If you connect a bird cam to your computer you can even
record what's going on, even at night, and send short recordings with e-mail, post it to
your blog or even Facebook page.

You've had a great year. Do your homework now and get ready for the spring. Do all this
work now while the weather is nice and it's a joy to be outside working in the crisp fall
air. Your work now will pay large dividends in the early spring and you'll enjoy a yard
full of happy and appreciative songbirds.

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