Proctor: Christmas is for the birds

5:26 PM, Dec 23, 2012   |    comments
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Share your holiday good will with the birds now and throughout the winter. They'll repay you later by eating the insects that threaten your garden and with the gift of song.

All birds need food, habitat and water.

If you've never fed birds before, you don't really need a feeder (although a good one is ideal). A bowl of safflower seeds on a patio is all you need.

Safflower seeds are disliked by squirrels, so the food will go to the intended recipients. There are some feeders that are pretty much squirrel proof, such as those made of mesh or guarded by an outer wire grid. Position your feeder near a window so you can enjoy the beauty of the birds as they feed.

You can also lure squirrels away from bird food with a feeder just for them. These feeders hold dried corn cobs securely in place so you can enjoy their antics as well.

Although hummingbirds have migrated south months ago, you can guarantee they'll return to your garden with an effective feeder. Many feeders are now crafted from recycled materials such as used wine bottles.

A birdhouse will also help attract birds to your garden. The design of the house determines which birds it suits best.

Consult with a knowledgeable salesperson when you select a birdhouse. Make sure the house is sturdy and easy to clean. Wooden houses are best since they won't heat up in sun and cook the eggs.

An open, clean water source is as important to birds as food. They need it for drinking and bathing; clean feathers work most effectively to keep them warm.

Supplement an existing birdbath with a heater or purchase a bird spa that provides open water all winter.

Share with the birds now so they will benefit your garden this spring.

Products are courtesy of Tagawa Gardens.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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