Into The Air

The Official Blog of Backyard Chirper

Category: Uncategorized (Page 1 of 19)

5 Birdhouse Accessories That’ll Make Life More Enjoyable

Nesting season is in full swing, and those with birdhouses know the joy of offering shelter to birds.

But birdhouses aren’t always fun and games. They can be difficult to maintain, tough to protect from predators, and a pain to take down. So, we assembled this list of five cool birdhouse accessories that’ll make your life more enjoyable.

Telescoping Pole

5_137081Certain birdhouses, specifically Purple Martin houses, do best when they’re high off the ground. This can present some problems when you have to take down the birdhouse to remove unwanted guests or when the last of the colony is gone. That’s why a telescoping birdhouse pole is such an essential accessory.

This heavy duty telescoping pole from Birds Choice is made of 16-gauge galvanized steel and extends 12 feet. Zinc-plated thumb screws keep the pole secure, despite the weight of the birdhouse.

Without one of these, you can still enjoy your birdhouse… until you have to take it down.

Portal Protector

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Anyone who owns a birdhouse will tell you just how coveted these nesting boxes can be. It’s not only larger bird species that want in. Critters like squirrels will also do everything they can to get inside. That’s why a portal protector is a must-have.

These metal rings go around the opening of the box and prevent critters and birds from pecking and gnawing away at the hole. Sometimes, it’ll even get to the point where the hole is so big, bluebirds will refuse to nest inside.

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Why You Should Celebrate International Migratory Bird Day on May 9

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The second Saturday of May is nearly upon and that can only mean one thing: International Migratory Bird Day.

Every year the IMBD (no, not that one) aims to celebrate and publicize one of the most amazing occurrences throughout the world: bird migration. Millions of birds make the journey throughout the year, whether it’s a few hundred miles or more than a thousand miles. At the same time, millions of adults and kids watch the colorful birds fly by in wonder.

Bird migration doesn’t take place entirely in one day, which is why the events and celebration of International Migratory Bird Day happens throughout the year. Still, the second Saturday of May for the United States and Canada and the second Saturday in October for Latin America and the Caribbean are the perfect days to put a strong effort toward raising awareness about bird migration.

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Celebrate Draw A Bird Day on April 8

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Today is Draw A Bird Day. Even though it’s not an official holiday, the day holds a special meaning.

The day is designed to bring smiles and joy by drawing a bird. You don’t have to be an artist to participate because no matter how poorly drawn the picture ends up, it always manages to evoke a feeling of happiness.

According to the Draw A Bird Day website, the origins of Draw A Bird Day date back to 1943, when a 7-year-old girl named Dorie Cooper visited her uncle at a hospital in England. Her uncle, who was wounded during the war, was feeling unwell, so she attempted to cheer him up by asking him to draw her a bird.

He drew a robin he could see out the window.

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Tiny Bird Makes Epic 1,700-mile Trip Over Water

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Imagine taking trip that requires you to run for three or four days nonstop. That means no stopping, no eating, no sleeping. For humans, that trip is an impossibility. But for one tiny bird, that trip is a reality each spring.

For a long time, the small Blackpoll Warbler has vexed ornithologists, who wondered how the forest songbird made its way from eastern Canada or the northeastern parts of the United States to South America.

So researchers strapped a harness with a miniature geolocator the size of a dime to the birds’ back and waited for the findings.

They found the warbler makes a nonstop journey over the Atlantic Ocean all the way to the Caribbean and then to South America.

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Watch Man Reunite Baby Bird With Parents


Amateur birdwatcher Patrick Smith was taking a smoke break in an empty parking lot outside his office building in Riverside, Calif., when he heard distressed chirping.

He followed the chirps to a PVC pipe where he saw a tiny bird stuck inside upside down. He did the right thing and pulled the fatigued bird out of the pipe.

What happened next will change your life…

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World Sparrow Day is March 20: Here’s Why You Should Care

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As a kid who grew up in the dense suburbs of Los Angeles, the first birds I remember seeing in our backyard were sparrows. I distinctively recall listening to their constant chirping (chirrup!) and admiring their nests, which seemed to be tucked into every nook and cranny.

But for all the fond memories I have of these birds, I now know that House Sparrows are non-native, invasive species that pillage resources, use up all the good nesting cavities, and wreak general havoc in ecosystems.

With all that being said, March 20 is World Sparrow Day.

Believe it or not, the number of sparrows throughout the world is falling at an alarming rate. While a decline in sparrow populations in the United States is actually a good thing in many aspects, the downward trend is alarming in places where they are native.

Sparrows live in close proximity with humans and act as a stand-in for the relationship between humans and nature. Because sparrows are dependent on us for a lot of things, the fact that they’re disappearing in places like the United Kingdom point to unhealthy human habits and a lack of conservationism. That’s where World Sparrow Day comes in.

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Crow Box Teaches Birds to Pay For Food & More

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Tired of shelling out money to feed birds without getting anything in return? With the Crow Box feeder, now you can train crows to pay for their food with spare change from the street.

Yes, we know you don’t feed birds with the expectation of anything in return (except to enjoy the company of colorful birds in your backyard), but the Crow Box is an interesting vending machine for birds that could have wider implications.

The Crow Box, which was discussed in a TED talk way back in 2008, was recently resurrected by the Daily Mail, and since we didn’t write about it back then, we’d thought we bring it back up, especially in lieu of a recent news story about crows offering gifts to a little girl in Seattle.

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Rainbow Collar Could Stop Cats from Killing Millions of Birds

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In the United States alone, outdoor cats kill anywhere between 1.4 and 3.7 billion birds each year. That’s the reason why such a rift exists between cat people and bird people (who sometimes overlap). Many bird advocates want all cats kept indoors and feral populations euthanized. Some feline advocates think cats should have free range to go where they want and hunt what they please because it’s a part of nature.

As I wrote way back in 2011, there are no easy answers to the cat vs. bird debate.

There are ways you can help minimize the amount of birds that are killed by cats. One such way is strategic positioning of bird feeders and another is the Duncraft Spray Repellent, which sprays cats on the hunt with water.

For most of these solutions, the burden’s been on bird advocates, but now some inventors have created an anti-predation collar that’s said to drop a cat’s kill rate by 54 percent.

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10 Most Bizarre Bird Mating Dances

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we thought it’d be prudent to take a look at the mating dance of birds, which can range from the touching to the downright hilarious.

Flamingo

The flamingo mating dance is one of my favorites. They typically get into large yet tight groups and parade around synchronized. It’s beautiful and poetic.

Bird of Paradise

A male bird of paradise calls for a female and once he has an audience, he’ll spread his wings and do a jig while making snapping noises with his feathers. It’s quite a show.

Emu

The mating dance of the emu looks spastic. The female confidently runs around the male while making a drumming noise to tantalize the male.

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Join the 18th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count

_DSC0112With more than 140,000 estimated participants from 135 countries, the 2014 Great Backyard Bird Count was one of the most exciting and record-breaking counts ever.

The number one species that appeared on the most checklists was the Northern Cardinal and the most numerous bird was the Red-winged Blackbird. Scientists use the data to answer questions like how climate change affects bird populations, why certain bird numbers experience ebbs and flows each year, and much more.

In case you missed it last year, the 2015 Great Backyard Bird Count is just around the corner. For four days between Feb. 13 and Feb. 16, people all across the world will be counting birds at any location for at least 15 minutes and the GBBC wants you to join in too.

Getting started is easy. You register for an account or use your existing account if you’ve done the count before. Then count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days during the timeframe. You write down your findings on a checklist for each day. Finally, submit the results on the GBBC website or through the free app.

Chances are you already spend some time looking outside at the birds for at least 15 minutes so why not participate in the GBBC and contribute to science?

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