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The Backyard Birder, Issue #014 September is here it is time to get ready for winter.
September 02, 2008

Great news! I have started a new blog at I plan to post three to four times per week. Please let me know what you think. I look forward to reading your comments.

If you're a backyard birder, then you should be excited that September has arrived.

Depending on where you live, the fall migration is starting. If you live in the south you are looking forward to the return of many of your favorite song birds, while here in the north we are sad to say goodbye to many of ours. One of the first signs of migration is the formation of large flocks of birds. You may even have one of these flocks invade your feeders. These birds can empty your feeders in minutes so it is important to keep your feeders full. Many wild birds travel long distances and require large amounts of food to provide the energy they need. But don't worry that feeding birds will keep them from migrating. The food you provide is only a portion of what they eat. Many other factors, including hours of sunlight and tempurtures, trigger their desire to travel to their winter homes.

July and August may have been a little boring at your feeders or maybe you took a few months off to enjoy other things this summer. If so, then September is the month to get busy getting your feeders ready for fall and winter. This is the perfect time to pull them down, inspect them for damage and give them a good cleaning.

Here are a few things to consider when planning for winter feeding:

Want to attract more birds this winter? Then you may want to add a few more bird feeders.

Consider the types of birds foods you are currently offering, what's missing? Do you have a suet bird feeder?

What types of feeders do you have? If you have a tube feeder, you may want to add a platform feeder to attract different species of birds.

Are you filling your feeders every day or so? It may not be too bad now, but what about when its 5 degrees outside? A large hopper bird feeder will need to be filled less often.

If you're looking for a fun project, consider making an edible bird feeder. The fall season offers us an opportunity to create our own natural bird feeders and bird food. There are many natural sources for making a bird seed wreath or swag. Choose from the many seed producing flowers such as - brown-eyed susans, purple cone flowers and, of course, sunflower seed heads. You can also use dried corn cobs and many tall grasses. Here are a few bird feeder projects to get you started. Experiment with any materials available to you and see what works best.

As the leaves begin to fall and the flower blooms have passed you may think that gardening season is over. The truth is that the fall is a great time to plan and plant. This is a great time of year to take advantage of year end clearance sales at your local nursery or home center. Take a look at your yard and look for ways to create a more bird friendly environment. If you're not sure what plants to look for, I have created a list of plants to attract seed eating wild birds and flowers to attract hummingbirds.

If you would like to contribute content to my website now here are several places you can go:

Bird Food Recipes:

This is where you can swap bird food recipes with other readers. Making your own bird food is not only fun and easy, it is also economical. You will be surprised at how easy these recipes are to put together. Many of these recipes include common ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.

Bird Watching Clubs:

If you are a member of a local bird watching club, please tell us about your activities. What kind of programs do you offer? When do you meet? Where do you meet? Tell us anything you want.

Backyard Birds:

This topic is wide open to anything to do with backyard birds. Tell us about your favorite backyard birds and how you attract them. What is your favorite style of bird feeder? What type of bird food do you use most often? Tell us anything you want to here.

Please don't worry that no one will be interested in what you have to say. Your story will be read by hundreds of readers who will be delighted and encouraged by your experiences.

Happy Birding,

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