Help the birds to nest by providing them with suitable building materials | Local News
The main consideration of a bird when choosing a nesting site is safety. Protection from predators and proximity to food and water are vitally important to the success of a bird’s offspring.
Plentiful and easily obtainable food sources allow more time to be spent on better selection of nesting sites and building better quality nests, as well as more time and energy to be vigilant in homeland defense nesting against intruders and predators. Studies show that birds with access to the extra nutrition provided by feeders will lay their brood earlier and fledge on average one more chick per brood than their counterparts without access to feeders.
The hanging nest of a titmouse’s foot resembles an oriole’s nest and is woven from a variety of materials including mosses, lichens, leaves and cobwebs.
A male house wren can claim a nesting cavity by filling it with more than 400 small twigs. If the female likes what she sees, then she will take over, adding the cut to the nest and lining it with grass, inner bark, hair and feathers.
The American robin will use mud in its nest to give it strength. You can put in a small pot of mud and nesting material (short ropes, threads, and dry grasses) and watch the robins come and collect materials to make their nests. Unlike most birds, robins do not lay their eggs at sunrise. They lay their eggs several hours later in the middle of the morning. Since earthworms are easier to find early in the morning, they feed early in the morning and then return to their nests to lay their eggs.
Mourning dove nests are sticks woven together by the female with materials collected by the male. Mourning doves can have up to six clutches per year, with a typical clutch size of two eggs. This is the highest number of nesting cycles of any North American bird.
Hummingbirds use cobwebs as a glue to attach the nest to a tree branch, as well as a binder for building materials. The nest is about the size of a golf ball, about 11/2 inches in diameter.
Goldfinches are one of the newer songbirds, waiting to nest until mid to late summer when thistle seeds and down are readily available.
The red-breasted nuthatch will line the entrance to its nesting cavity with drops of sticky coniferous resin. It is believed that this may be a tactic to deter predators or nest competitors from entering.
This month, bird families are forming and are also part of your family’s world. The next generation of young people are making their first appearances all over your backyard.
Be ready to welcome your new birds with the food, water, and habitat they need for a bright future.
Ken Bunkowski and his son Matt are co-owners of Wild Birds Unlimited in Santa Fe and can’t wait to share the joy birds bring into their lives.