Every spring and fall, millions of migratory birds from albatross to the sand hill crane, fly hundreds of miles to reach their traditional feeding and breeding grounds. The hardship of extended periods of flight takes a toll on our feathered migrant travelers, as landing for a rest in unfamiliar terrain only increases the stress of their plight.
Turning our backyards into migratory rest stops is one answer in insuring that these birds arrive at their destiny in a healthy condition. Increasing foliage density by planting additional trees, shrubs and even certain types of vines, will serve to create a temporary safe harbor for migratory birds. Creating vertical layers with different sizes and types of plants and trees will invite the various species of migratory birds for a much needed reprieve.
Planting native wildflowers and grasses serve to help feed grassland birds, whose main diet is that of seeds. Planting tubular flowers such as salvia, lobelia and honeysuckle will attract and nourish migrating hummingbirds. Fruit-bearing shrubs such as crabapples, hollies, and cedars are favorites of jays, tanagers and warblers.
To provide water for these birds in their temporary oasis, put out shallow saucers and birdbaths secured from cats and other ground threats. It is a gift that we can provide for migratory birds as well as the beautiful spectacle it will deliver to ourselves as well.
You thought this was good? Brace yourself: Migratory birds in troubleThe information doesnâ€™t stop now. Keep looking: Turkish Villagers Mistake Migratory Bird As An Israeli Spy