Winter Springs, Florida

Its Time to Prepare for Nesting Season!

Prepare For Nesting

Nesting birds are looking for new home locations for nesting season. Now is the time to prepare your yard with housing for these special guests. It is important to have nest boxes in place as the courtship commences. Look for signs of Carolina  Wrens nesting in your neighborhood. They will be ducking in and out of nest boxes and other cavities trying to find the perfect location and fit. The male Carolina Wren gathers twigs and makes nests in multiple locations and then waits for the female to decide which one suits her fancy. She will then put her finishing touches, with a soft lining for the little ones, on the box she has chosen. What this maestro lacks in color, he makes up in vigorous song. Singing dawn to dusk during the mating season, he is often heard before being seen. Visit us for a full line of nest boxes to share the life of birds in your yard.

 

Houses For Birds

Houses for birds provide nesting sites for birds that require a cavity in which to nest. Primary cavity nesting species (such as woodpeckers) excavate their own sites. Secondary cavity nesters rely on pre-existing cavities. Secondary nesters lack the ability to create their own nesting sites and will readily accept secondary housing.

Functional Houses
It is important that functional houses meet the criteria of the proper housing situation for birds. It is important that houses have the following characteristics:

- good ventilation
- panel for easy cleanout/removal of pests
- adequate drainage
- roof overhang providing shade and protection from driving rain
- no perches

Ventilation
It is important for functional houses to have good ventilation. Panels of wood that are ¾ inches thick help provide insulation from the heat. Holes near the top of the house allow for the heat to escape.

Clean out
A side panel that opens allows for easy clean out of the nest at the end of the season which helps to keep the pest population down. (The Wild Birds Unlimited houses allow for viewing or photographing of the birds without disturbing them by offering a top opening panel.)

Drainage
Holes at the bottom corners allow for drainage. Drainage holes in the middle of the bottom will not adequately allow for drainage.

Perches
Perches are not necessary and actually allow sparrows and other birds a place to sit and access the hole.

Fledgling ladder
It is a good idea (especially for bluebird houses) to provide either slashes or a ladder to help the fledglings leave the house.



Functional houses should fit the requirements for the kind of bird that is desired and should be mounted in a manner that is safe for that kind of bird. Consult the Certified Birdfeeding Specialists at Wild Birds Unlimited for more information.

 

 

Are You Ready To Be A Purple Martin Landlord?

If you want your backyard to be in the running as a home for Purple Martins, now’s the time to get ready. These birds, which are the largest member of the swallow family and more black than they are purple, nest in colonies almost entirely in manmade housing. Only martins west of the Rocky Mountains use natural cavities and holes to make their nests. The birds return to North America each spring to nest, after wintering in South America where they can gorge themselves on the flying insects they love to eat.

While Purple Martins depend on us for a nesting location, they can be pretty picky. They like to nest in open spaces, so it’s important to place your Purple Martin house at least 40 feet from the nearest tall tree and from 40 to 100 feet from your home. Be sure the Purple Martin house is white and has the correct entrance size – generally 2 1/8 inches.

These birds live in colonies and their social antics can be quite entertaining. They can often be seen diving and swirling in the sky. In late spring adult males will perform what’s called the "Dawn Song." As he sings he soars high above the colony singing loudly to attract other birds. Wild Birds Unlimited has Purple Martin Houses for sale. Stop by soon and chat with our Certified Birdfeeding Specialists.

 

Why Help Bats?

Bats play an important role in our ecosystem by eating millions of insects in a night. Nature’s bug zappers, a single bat can eat up to 600 mosquitoes in one hour.

And, in North America, natural bat habitat is diminishing. This lack of habitat makes bat survival more difficult. Providing a bat house in your backyard is one way to provide roosting space for bats when natural habitat is scarce.

When selecting a bat house, it is important to select a house that meets the needs of the bats. The OBC has developed bat house specifications based on years of scientific research. OBC, in conjunction with WBU, has developed two such houses.

Organization for Bat Conservation



It’s That Time Of The Year!
Bird Courtship Displays

Bird courtship displays are an indispensable introduction to mating and raising young. Male birds use a vast array of "pick up" techniques to win the attention of a female. Pairs will engage in curious behavior, with the female generally choosing which male she considers a suitable mate. She shops for a mate using criteria such as looks, ability to provide, and in some species, for a male that knows how to build a nest that can withstand a monsoon! Most significantly, she chooses to mate with a suitor with superior genes.

For numerous species, bird song plays an imperative role. Some birds sing more at the beginning of breeding, sometimes lasting through nesting time. Others are silent once they have found a mate. The woodpecker will tap on dead branches and occasionally on tin roofs to attract a potential mate. Apparently, a large "play list" assists some species in drawing females, so a male often mimics the songs he hears to expand his song selections and make himself more popular. Some birds touch bills, feed one another or groom the feathers of a potential companion. Many male birds are outfitted in alluring colors during mating season. You can be sure they use it to their full advantage. In some instances, the amorous male simply flies in front of the female, displaying his most luminous colors or unique markings to award her the full pleasure of his company.