|Linda Secrist presents tips to attract birds|
“Think of yourself as a bird,” said Master Gardener Linda Secrist, “and if you were flying over your yard, what would you see?”
The “For the Birds” Master Gardener workshop on January 11 hosted 23 participants interested in learning how to attract birds and getting tips on plant selection, bird watching and treats for birds.
|Bird nesting in a simple clay feeder|
|Linda Secrist talks about different seeds and bird foods|
Inspired by the book “Cooking for the Birds” by Adele Porter, Secrist displayed interesting food concoctions including belly jelly and pasta al fresco. Joyce Randolph, Hagerstown, MD, was particularly interested in the woodpecker waffles and intended to make some at home.
|A variety of foods for birds|
Many in the workshop raised their hands when asked who had not cleared every perennial in their yard in the fall. Secrist pointed out that this is a good strategy for attracting birds during the winter months.
|The best flowers to attract birds are single-petaled varieties like this coneflower.|
Selecting native plants and flowers that birds like are important for providing not only food but shelter and nesting sites. Hedgerows and larger shrubs offer cover for birds and trees are the typical nesting site for most birds.
Carl Robillard, Shippensburg, has three acres he is landscaping. “I want to include bird friendly plants and shrubs so this workshop was interesting about that,” commented Robillard. A Master Gardener suggested the native elderberry shrub as a good choice to consider.As for birdhouses, Secrist said, “Your bird house should be boring.” Plain, well-constructed shelters with access to clean them out are what birds seek, not the brightly painted and decorated houses.
|John Myers (R) and Rebecca & David Irvin(L) at the workshop|
Both Rebecca Irvin and her dad, David, Chambersburg, already have quite a variety of bird visitors but wanted to find out how to attract others. Rebecca said she learned about a lot of different stuff that was bird food.Rebecca was suited up in her soccer gear and heading to an indoor game but she stayed after the workshop to talk about all the different birds they see both at home and when vacationing. She knows she won’t hear the beautiful song of the hermit thrushes in Maine at home in Chambersburg, but expects to see a bigger variety at home now.
Photo credit: Carol Kagan