I really can’t stay
(But birdy, it’s cold outside)
I’ve got to go away
(But birdy, it’s cold outside)
Okay, so maybe those aren’t the exact words to the classic Christmas song, “Baby, it’s Cold Outside.” But our lyrics better illustrate our point. The days are getting shorter, the temperature is dropping, and guess what? It’s cold outside! And while birds everywhere will soon be heading south for the winter, they aren’t there yet.
Even birds aren’t immune to the cold temperatures and wind chill. And while you huddle indoors for warmth, where do they go? Most are stuck in trees, trying to avoid the icy cold wind and rain. But what if there was a better way? What if you could do something to help?
Tis’ the Season for Bird Houses in Maryland
Cold weather is quickly moving in as we should speak. Birds will be looking for shelter to escape the cold weather, sleep through the night, and avoid high winds.
The Answer: Bird Houses
Bird Houses that were used for spring broods are often used again for roosting boxes through the cold season. Even birds of different types can often be seen sharing a night in a bird house (turned roosting box).
“I have seen blue birds and hairy woodpeckers sharing the night,” explained Ace Hardware and Hearth’s Pete Peterson. “How Cool!?”
Now is an excellent time to add some new birdhouses to your backyard. Be sure to consider that birds like Bluebirds, Downy Wood Peckers, Chickadees, Titmice, Carolina and House Wrens will prefer to have a bird house with a specific sized opening and be a certain height off the ground.
To inexpensively add warm places for birds, roosting pockets are a great choice. They are typically made of rattan or wicker and have a little built in hanger attached to it.
Caring for your Bird House
The proper housing, nesting materials, house placement and cleaning are necessary to attract and care for your backyard birds. Start by completely cleaning and scrubbing your bird house. Since most boxes are of wood, cleaning is simple: use soapy water then rinse. Dawn dishwashing detergent works great. Next obtain a “nesting lift” to raise the area up to prevent mold and dampness from harming the birds. A nesting lift is a black metal grid that has a ¾” raised edge on its side. These, along with a wide selection of bird houses, are available at Ace Hardware & Hearth in Pasadena and Ace Home & Leisure in Edgewater. Both feature extensive birding sections, including bird houses of all shapes and sizes for Maryland birds, such as bluebirds, wrens, finches, purple martins and even owls. Don’t hesitate to ask our experts any questions you may have. Ace is here to help.
Finally, gather a generous handful of sun dried grass and place it on the nesting lift inside the box. VOILA!!! A perfect welcoming bedroom for our backyard pets! It’s like having a Bed & Breakfast right in your back yard.
If you have any questions about Bird Houses or Birding in Maryland, please visit AceHardwareAndHearth.com today! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.