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Old 02-16-2012, 03:39 PM   #1
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cardinal2 How to Manage Your Land to Help Birds

Recommendations for Landowners
How to Manage Your Land to Help Birds

Birds Without Borders Aves Sin Fronteras
Zoological Society of Milwaukee
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The Birds Without Borders Aves Sin Fronteras staff is proud to announce the completion of our manual for landowners in Wisconsin, the Midwest, and the eastern United States
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Some of our favorite songbirds are in decline. The numbers of many types of birds have been decreasing. The main reason is loss of habitat (a place where a bird naturally and normally lives). We want to show you how you can help. Landowners can have a major role in saving birds by managing their land to offer good habitat, including plants that provide food for birds.
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Our manual is the result of five years of field research in Wisconsin and years of follow-up data analysis by Birds Without Borders - Aves Sin Fronteras. It provides information on habitats and plants that we have found to be important to birds. It also includes lots of tips on how to help birds.
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To download a PDF of the Birds Without Borders - Aves Sin Fronteras Wisconsin Landowner Recommendations manual, please choose one of the following:
BWB-ASF Landowner Recommendations for landowners in Wisconsin, the Midwest, and the eastern United States | Zoological Society of Milwaukee
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Old 02-16-2012, 03:39 PM   #2
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Default How to Manage Your Land to Help Birds

From the "What You Can Do to Help Birds" section 3 of the manual:
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Each person makes a difference in the world. You can make a positive change by helping protect and/or restore our natural world — through birds. It takes knowledge, motivation and time. When individuals join together with groups and communities, your actions can have even more impact. Below we have summarized 22 actions you can take. To get started, pick any one or two of these that interest you. They will direct you to places in this book with more information. Remember, even small changes can make a big difference. We invite you to join us in our work to help conserve birds.
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1. Provide food and habitat for birds when they stop to rest during migration. During their long migrations, most birds stop to rest and feed. Private landowners can help birds by providing the right kinds of plants, shelter and food.
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8. Help preserve dead trees (snags) and stumps where birds nest. Many birds nest in holes found in living and dead standing trees and stumps, on cliffs and in walls. You can help cavity-nesting birds by saving dead trees instead of cutting them down. You also can put up nest boxes for cavity-nesting birds. (Please see pages 30-32 for more information.)
http://www.zoosociety.org/pdf/BWBPubs/WiLandownerManual_Sec3.pdf

(note: This manual has some great photos)
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:18 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Cirsium View Post
From the "What You Can Do to Help Birds" section 3 of the manual:
http://www.zoosociety.org/pdf/BWBPubs/WiLandownerManual_Sec3.pdf

(note: This manual has some great photos)
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What a great find, Cirsium. So far, I just scanned it looking at the great photos. I'll go back to read it in depth when I have more time and energy.

The only thing I spotted that I am mildly concerned about is this statement:
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Do not provide food for nest predators
with pictures of blue jays American crows,
eastern chipmunks, squirrels, mice and raccoons... I agree that these could make nesting more difficult...but, I'm trying to attract wildlife to our two acres, so I'm expecting the habitat to support various native wildlife. Perhaps this was more focused on bird *feeding* and not providing habitat--I'll have to read it more in depth--just my two cents.
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:29 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by dapjwy View Post
What a great find, Cirsium. So far, I just scanned it looking at the great photos. I'll go back to read it in depth when I have more time and energy.

The only thing I spotted that I am mildly concerned about is this statement:
with pictures of blue jays American crows,
eastern chipmunks, squirrels, mice and raccoons... I agree that these could make nesting more difficult...but, I'm trying to attract wildlife to our two acres, so I'm expecting the habitat to support various native wildlife. Perhaps this was more focused on bird *feeding* and not providing habitat--I'll have to read it more in depth--just my two cents.
My take on the nest predator feeding is this if you are providing food(corn, peanuts, suet) its going to attract all those species that will eat bird eggs. where the problem is and I'm guilty of this to we stop putting out so much when spring comes( and birds start nesting) the predators are still coming looking for that easy meal when its not there they will search the immediate area for food and if your two acres is the best or only suitable nesting habitat there will probably be a number of nests so the predators are bound to find some because they are unnaturally concentrated in the area because of food availability we provide them. I wouldn't worry to much about it nests are going to get raided even if you stop feeding all together its just the way it goes.
This is a great link I've been skimming through it myself.
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:58 PM   #5
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My take on the nest predator feeding is this if you are providing food(corn, peanuts, suet) its going to attract all those species that will eat bird eggs. where the problem is and I'm guilty of this to we stop putting out so much when spring comes( and birds start nesting) the predators are still coming looking for that easy meal when its not there they will search the immediate area for food and if your two acres is the best or only suitable nesting habitat there will probably be a number of nests so the predators are bound to find some because they are unnaturally concentrated in the area because of food availability we provide them. I wouldn't worry to much about it nests are going to get raided even if you stop feeding all together its just the way it goes.
This is a great link I've been skimming through it myself.
I agree it is a great link...I started reading through it, but I'm not done...and I've got to go to bed.

Sometimes I feel feeding birds is not the best thing to do. A few years ago, I read an article about how it brings birds in unnaturally large numbers into contact with each other--which spreads diseases quickly. I'd rather provide natural foods (nuts, berries, insects, etc. from native flora)...but I do still put out seed to attract birds closer to the house. Hopefully as I provide more natural foods, I'll put out less seed...or none eventually.
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:10 AM   #6
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I'm afraid I'm too selfish to stop providing supplemental food for birds (and squirrels, and chipmunks): I love being able to sit on the sofa or at the dining room table and watch them. It's my favorite entertainment.
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:04 AM   #7
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Speaking of nest predators, did anyone watch the PBS special Racoon Nation?

Watch a Preview of Raccoon Nation | Nature | PBS

Birds have been studied very well but we are getting to the other creatures out there slowly.

Seems pet food and garbage feed our urban racoons very well. I was very surprised by the fact that urban racoons tended to stay within a three block radius and that they seemed to mostly avoid city parks...

Have you ever followed racoon tracks in the early morning after a light snow?
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Old 02-18-2012, 03:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Rebek56 View Post
I'm afraid I'm too selfish to stop providing supplemental food for birds (and squirrels, and chipmunks): I love being able to sit on the sofa or at the dining room table and watch them. It's my favorite entertainment.
I'm feeding them, too, Rebek. As a matter of fact, I'm giving them a lot more than usual today...partly because I'm doing the Great Backyard Bird Count...and partly 'cause I want to get some more pictures.

It sure would be hard to stop, but if we were putting the birds' health at risk by feeding, we'd have to consider at least making changes to reduce transmission of diseases. I do try to vary where I put the feeder or seed, but there are only so many places that are ideal for viewing.
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:47 PM   #9
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As you may know from other posts, I feed the birds. Because I learned of the risk of diseases when feeding large amounts of birds into a small area, we've spread out the feeding area a bit. We are hoping to make some changes around our yard to feel the birds naturally.

The Blue Jays we have, we keep peanuts out all year, but they just do not come in the warmer months. I don't know where they go off to. About the other predators, like mice, I figure they are food for our local raptor population. We found an owl pellet in our yard a couple weeks ago and it was a mouse or vole.
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