Guide to Water Features, Nest Boxes, and Feeders


Water Features

Adding a water feature to your landscape is one of the best ways to attract birds. There are many different forms of water features for all spaces and budgets:

  • Bubbling rock
  • Shallow pond
  • Bird bath
  • Or a simple tray or bird drip

Be sure to keep the water clean!


Nest Boxes

Cavity nesters such as Eastern Screech Owls, Carolina Wrens, and Carolina Chickadees may nest in boxes and can provide a delightful learning opportunity as adults fly back and forth feeding the young. Larger properties may install Chimney Swift Towers or Purple Martin Houses. Ideally, larger properties would leave tree snags for these nests and food for birds such as woodpeckers.

Consider a nest box for one of these birds in Houston: Eastern Screech Owl, Carolina Chickadee, Carolina Wren, Eastern Bluebird, Purple Martin


Feeders

Tips:

  • Be sure to find a quality seed mix. These are available at birding retail stores, feed stores and even large retailers like Costco and Amazon. If you can’t find a mix designed for our area, then choose black oil sunflower seed, which is usually available at all grocery stores.
  • Using a baffle and pole system like this will keep squirrels and raccoons off of the feeders. Be be sure to keep your pole and feeders far enough away from any trees so the squirrels can’t leap over.
  • Keep your feeders clean and dry. That is an advantage of the tube feeders compared to platform feeders. Platform feeders need to have lots of drainage to prevent the feed from getting wet and moldy.
  • Hummingbird feeders are great for spring and fall. We do have wintering hummingbirds here in Houston, so you may end up using these feeders year round. Use a simple 1 part sugar/4 parts water formula. Put out small amounts until they find the feeders

Did You Know?

Northern Mockingbirds have been known to so skillfully imitate sounds such as squeaky gate hinges, sirens, and barking dogs that even an acoustical analysis could not tell the difference between the mockingbird and the original sound.

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