Back to Back Issues Page
The Backyard Birder, Issue #009 April, Spring is finally here! Are you ready?
April 02, 2008


April means that spring has finally arrived, thank God! This winter has been colder and longer than any in recent memory. We still have plenty of snow on the ground but almost as soon as an island of mud appears it is filled with hungry robins in search of a meal. Nature gives us many hints of the coming spring including swollen buds on the maple trees, blooming pussy willows and swarms of ladybugs. The bird world tells of the coming spring with the arrival of migrating birds eager to find a place to nest.

April is indeed moving month for northern invaders. The first wave of summer residents will soon return from their winter homes. I enjoy this time of year because I get to see many species of birds that don’t reside in this area but they pass through on their way to their northern breeding grounds. Today is April 1st (I know last minute) and I was lucky to see five snow geese heading north. If you stay alert and keep your field guide handy you may get to see a bird rarely found in your area.

You should prepare your feeding station for these new arrivals by offering foods they are looking for. Many birds that winter in the tropics feed on insects and fruit. You may be able to attract orioles, warblers and thrushes with fresh fruit; and robins, mockingbirds and wrens with raisins. But if you want to see a lot of birds in your yard, add water to the mix. I have found that dripping or running water in a bird bath is much more interesting to birds than still water.

Birds are traveling in large mixed flocks this time of year, so don’t be surprised if they invade your feeders by the hundreds empting your bird feeders in a matter of minutes. Keeping your feeders full may be difficult, but your efforts will be rewarded.

April is the time to get your bird houses ready. You can help birds with their nest building by providing bird nest materials. If you mount a nest box, place some wood chips in the bottom. Some birds will use the chips to start their nests; others will build their nests right on top. You can also fill a suet basket with dried grass, spanish moss, dog hair, short strips of cotton fabric, feathers and short thin twigs. Birds will use these materials to build their nests, hopefully near your yard.

April Checklist:

  • Keep your feeders full.
  • Add moving water to attract migrating birds.
  • Watch for new arrivals and rare birds just passing through.
  • Put up bird houses and nesting materials.
  • Make a list of the birds you see as it may be your biggest sighting month of the year.

April Recipe:

From Kay Craig in Arkansas
Bird Pudding

Melt one cup lard and one cup crunchy peanut butter together.

To this melted mixture add one cup of quick oats, one cup of all-purpose flour, 2 cups of yellow corn meal. Mix thoroughly. You may also add 1/2 cup of bird seed and/or raisins to this. This will have the consistency of thick pudding. Pour mixture into a pan and place it in the refrigerator or freezer and allow to harden.

Once mixture has hardened cut or break into pieces to fit into suet baskets. Any crumbles or small pieces can be placed in a platform feeder. Any leftovers may be stored in plastic zip bags and stored in the freezer.

I am proud to offer a new ebook for you to download. It is called “Easy to Make Wild Bird Food Recipes”. If you submit a recipe, the book is yours for FREE! If you want to purchase this great ebook it is only $7.95.

We would love to hear from you. If you have any questions about the birds in your backyard please let us know. We are happy to answer any questions you have. We would also like to hear any comments about our website or this newsletter. Please use our Contact Us for to get in touch with us.

News from My Feeders in March:

March was another cold month in New Hampshire. We had many of the same visitors including wrens, hairy woodpeckers, downy woodpeckers, titmice, nuthatches and cardinals. I am so excited for spring and all the new arrivals that come with it.

Back to Back Issues Page