Ever wonder what birds do during a rain or snow storm? It’s a question we often get at Wild Birds Unlimited…and your trusted source of backyard bird info has the answer! Natural sources of cover include things like tree cavities, rocky outcroppings, caves, vegetation, thickets, trees, evergreens and shrubs. The easiest form of cover to recreate and ultimately the most valuable to birds year-round, is evergreens.
A variety of native plants can be planted in the fall to provide cover this coming winter (and beyond) for your feeder birds. Consider planting some of these in your yard: hemlock, pine, holly, cedar, and certain rhododendron.
Native plants are always best because they not only provide cover but are a critical part of the natural food web. That said, birds will take cover in non-native blue spruce, cherry laurel, juniper and other ornamental landscape plants you may already grow on the property.
Natural cover near a feeding station is also important not only during storms, but to make birds feel more comfortable and less vulnerable while visiting. Bird-eating accipiter hawks (Coopers and Sharp-shinned) are common and songbirds know it. Cover could make the difference between a few birds staying for a few seconds, and many birds comfortably lingering at your feeders.
Supplemental sources of storm cover include winter roosting boxes, shelf nesting boxes, and traditional nest boxes…all available at Wild Birds Unlimited.
When you certify your yard with the National Wildlife Federation, one of the resources they recommend you provide is cover…it’s that important! For those birds that call your yard home at any given time, cover becomes a critical link to survival during storms and potential predation by hawks and others. Help save the songbirds and certify your backyard today!
For more info visit wbu.com/certify-your-yard.
PHOTO CAP: Certify your backyard today!