Many birds die every year from trauma or predators, so it is important to make your backyard a haven for birds. Some songbirds can live up to 10 or 12 years if they live a safe, trauma-free environment. Creating a safe environment for birds in your yard is essential for the health of your backyard birds.
The greatest danger to backyard birds is a family pet, such as a cat or dog. Young birds are very vulnerable to cats and dogs during the spring and summer. During this time, it is a good idea to keep your cat indoors and your dog on a lead or chain when in your backyard. Keep neighbor pets out by installing a fence around your yard. To protect birds from stray dogs and cats, call your local branch or SPCA to pick up strays.
Other predators such as squirrels, raccoons, opossums and others can also be a nuisance to birds. Squirrels like to get into the nest boxes to eat the bird eggs and young birds. In order to protect your backyard birds from a variety of small animals, set up traps and relocate them to another area.
Another way to protect young birds from other larger birds is to keep evergreen branches on the ground around nesting boxes or bird houses. This helps to provide young birds with cover in case they fall from the nest. Also, do not try to seek out the bird’s nests to see the young birds. This will attract predators to the nest.
The best way to protect birds is to set up nest boxes or birdhouses that hang from a pole or mounted to a pole. By using a pole, such as the Ultimate Yard System by Droll Yankees, small animals, cats, and dogs will have a difficult time getting to your backyard birds. You may also want to install a predator guard on the pole, such as a baffle or a metal sleeve, to make it harder to climb up the pole and get to the birds.