Birdfeeders are a great way to add some animal-life to your backyard garden. Choose one that provides cover for birds, open, covered perches, and feeder-access at all times. Birdfeeders are used by birds for both nutritional and social purposes and many homeowners choose to add them to their garden to enjoy a spot of bird watching from their teak furniture.
Many feeders, though, have not been proven safe for backyard wildlife. If birdfeeders are used by an outside bird to nest, it can also serve as a way for a predator to access food-covered nesting birds. You can help to prevent bird-kill by keeping feeders covered at all times. In an outdoor garden, keep birdfeeders away from areas where there are no vertical surfaces such as fences, walls, and trees. Birdfeeders should also be placed 10 feet or less from any structure that could be used as an ambush for prey.
Unfortunately, your garden will never have a low-flying hawk (a species that preys on birds and small mammals) flying in to snatch a bird from its feeder, so you may not be able to prevent a nest in a birdfeeder from being attacked. However, you can continue to enjoy birdfeeders while ensuring that they are not the cause of bird-kill.
Below are a couple of things to consider when feeding wildlife in your backyard garden. Rest assured these will give you plenty of wildlife to enjoy from your teak furniture!
Feeding Small Animals
Feeding small animals can cause serious damage to an outdoor garden. Birdfeeders are the most common bird feeders used in the backyard garden. Birdfeeders should only be used in areas where there are no vertical structures such as fences, walls, and trees. Birds are at their most vulnerable in early spring when they are ready to nest. Feeders should be cleaned out and re-covered every month.
In addition to wildlife, birds also feast on rats, mice, snakes, and ground-born insects. Birds eat small animals that they mistake for their normal food. Small animals, such as rabbits, rodents, and squirrels, may suffer from internal injuries or tissue damage due to eating bird feeders. If you feed small mammals, birdfeeders should be at least 30 feet from a wall or fence. If you use birdfeeders with perches, keep perches covered at all times.
Feeding Small Birds
Even if birds are not at their most vulnerable in early spring, feeding small birds can be a risky act. Any small animal, including birds, may become dependent on bird feeders for food. One of the main problems is that when birds eat their full food supply, they may become ravenous, and feed heavily. Birds will continue to eat until their reserves are depleted, causing their weight to decrease rapidly.
Such a feeding binge can also have adverse effects on the environment, reducing plant growth, plant diseases, insects, or even plants themselves. Some birds, particularly ground-born creatures, may also become dependent on feeding. Feeding birds may lead to the growth of larger birds, creating a bigger problem.
During breeding season, birds, such as songbirds, can become extremely dependent on bird feeders. To ensure that bird feeders do not become the cause of bird-kill, keep feeders empty. An empty feeder in your garden may be used by birds to find a new feeding spot.
Place some teak furniture like garden benches to enjoy some of the action up-close!