I think of wild birds as Nature’s “ambassadors”.  Well known for their musical songs, grace and beauty, they also benefit the world behind the scenes. From keeping insect and rodent populations in check, to helping the success of plants, shrubs and trees by spreading seeds, the world could never be the same without them.

We like to do what we can to help them. In winter we feed the resident seed-eaters with sunflower seed and suet; we also leave native seeds around by leaving seedheads standing through the winter, to be mowed or clipped in early spring.  We clean our feeders and birdbaths regularly (disease prevention), and also clean out birdhouses after each season.  Hummingbird feeders are washed thoroughly before refilling.  Some of our bluebirds use their houses all winter for shelter, so we leave some clean soft grasses in the bottom.  It’s a win-win situation — they eat insect pests in our garden, fill the air with beautiful birdsong, and are always fun to watch.

Please check out Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s website:  

All of these photos are “genuine nature” taken with natural light. 

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