Here's How You Can Help Keep Migrating Birds Safe This Winter
Many species of bird around the world migrate to different places at different times of the year. As we move from summer into winter, more and more birds begin thousands of miles of migrating. It’s certainly not an easy task, and the more human civilization has developed, the more dangerous life has become for migratory birds.
Even though life has become more dangerous for these migrating birds, there are things that you can do to help them survive their trip and keep coming back every year.
Provide food and habitat
One of the simplest things you can do to help birds, whether or not they’re migrating, is providing food and shelter. If you live in an area where migrating birds nest, consider creating nesting spaces, like bird boxes, and placing bird feeders to help keep them fed. Just remember to keep feeders more than three feet from windows so birds don’t accidentally harm themselves.
The benefits of planting trees are numerous, and one of those benefits is creating habitats for birds and other wildlife. Planting just one tree in an open pasture can increase bird biodiversity from zero to up to 80 different species! Plant trees for the birds.
Avoid using chemicals
Chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides are often effective at treating problems in your lawn and garden, but they’re also effective at causing harm to wildlife that may visit or call your yard home. Birds that eat tainted insects or bird feed could meet their end due to chemicals sprayed on lawns. If you’d like to help migrating birds, keep your lawn certified organic!
Urban and rural lights alike can throw migrating birds off of their route and lead them away from where they need to migrate. This can be disastrous for birds making the long trip to their overwintering habitat. When night falls, shut off your lights and encourage your city to do the same. Even just a handful of well-lit buildings can have terrible consequences on bird migration paths.
Keep the kitty inside
We often hear about windows and wind turbines causing bird deaths, but perhaps the greatest killer of birds around are our feline friends. Cats kill as many as 3.7 billion birds every year in the United States alone. If you have a kitty companion, consider keeping them indoors. If they must go outside, purchase a collar that prevents cats from sneaking up on or attacking your avian visitors.