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Backyard Feeding


Ask Dr. Bird

The Headlines

As the weather gets warmer and our nest boxes start filling up, I’ve noticed a lot more wasps around. I love attracting all sorts of wildlife, even wasps (at a distance) but I don’t like finding their nests attached to my nest boxes. A great trick is to take a bar of unscented soap and rub it against all horizontal surfaces of the nest box – it prevents wasps from being able to attach their nesting material to the unfinished wood. This trick works on all wood surfaces including decks and windowsills.

David has some startling studies to share about climate change and how it’s affecting migratory birds. Not great news, but still things we need to be aware of. EnviroMinute this week is a story about a family that had a bird build a nest on an old exterior light. The bulb got so hot it set the nest on fire and did an enormous amount of damage to the house. A simple way to prevent this is to change your old tungsten bulbs for LEDs which don’t produce any heat.

Some great stories in the headlines this week, the Dusky-throated Antshrike helps birds live in dangerous neighbourhoods by letting out a call that all birds understand as a danger signal. The Dutch are encouraging people to do everything they can to help insects breed so that the House Martin has something to eat for nesting season, and the Department of Agriculture in the US is encouraging fruit farmers to put up American Kestrel Nest Boxes to attract these amazing little raptors that work as a natural deterrent against fruit-eating birds. The economics are incredible. Every $1 invested in a nest box represents between $80-$380 in saved fruit. Amazing!

Still waiting for those squirrel videos!

Have a great week!