Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum: Recycling is for the birds!!!!

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Name: Kim
Beaver Falls, PA (Zone 6a)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Orchids Region: Pennsylvania Birds Ferns Dog Lover
Butterflies Container Gardener Frogs and Toads Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Level 2
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klc
Nov 4, 2014 3:58 PM CST
Don't know if this is considered "gardening" but one thing to attract birds is to provide a home for them. Over the years I have come up with 2 recycled items that is guaranteed to get baby birds in my yard.

The 1st is making a nesting "jug" out of an empty gallon water jug. You can use a milk/juice jug but be sure to wash it VERY well with soap and water so there won't be any residue left to mold etc. You'll also need scissors, something for a perch if you so desire (small pencil, stick, I've used chop sticks) and wire or fishing line to secure it wherever you want it. This takes less than 2 mins to make and just a few to hang it.

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**Step 1-- cut a hole about 1 1/2 inches in the side of the jug about 3 inches from the top--I usually cut just where it starts to curve down. This gives the babies a nice deep nest so they won't fall out. You can add the perch at this point....just make a small hole and work your piece into it like a perch!! I usually don't bother and it doesn't seem to bother the birds not having one...

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**Step 2--find a place to hang your jug. I use the handle to run the wire/fishing line through and also put a wrap around the jug just under the hole to keep it from blowing in the wind. I put mine under the awning just outside my kitchen window. As I cook/wash dishes I can look out and see the Mom & Dad build the nest, feed the babies and watch them fly away. MAKE SURE YOU DON'T HANG IN DIRECT SUN!!!! These can act like little green houses and you'll cook your babies!!! Crying

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And you're done!!! These are used by the little wrens in the area. I've done this for years and have had babies very time....one over productive couple hatched out 3!!!! sets of chicks in one season!!!! In the fall I just take the old jug down and put up a new one.

The 2nd recycle is even easier.... take an old plastic flower pot (mine came from Walmart many seasons ago) and mount it under your awnings, rafters in your barn etc. This one you can even put in a tree..... I've had robins and morning doves use mine depending on who finds it first and almost always get nests every year. I just pull the old nesting stuff out in the fall and they rebuild in the spring.

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I'll try to post some pictures this spring of these in use! Thumbs up

I hate losing plants....I know they are "just plants" but when you nurse them along and baby them and get them to grow, bloom, and be pretty and they die....it's like losing a friend..... Crying
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Salvias Herbs Bluebonnets Native Plants and Wildflowers Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Forum moderator Purslane Hummingbirder Cat Lover Butterflies Birds
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LindaTX8
Nov 13, 2014 4:03 PM CST
Nice! How do you attach the 2nd one? Or do you...wind could knock it down otherwise, I'd think!
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
Name: Kim
Beaver Falls, PA (Zone 6a)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Orchids Region: Pennsylvania Birds Ferns Dog Lover
Butterflies Container Gardener Frogs and Toads Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Level 2
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klc
Nov 13, 2014 10:43 PM CST
Thank you, Linda Smiling

I used wire or fishing line through the holes in the bottom of the pot and tied them around the awning support. You could also use the holes in the rim where the hanger goes to secure it or even nail it in place. I've been lucky in that where it is located I haven't had any issues. Robins and doves love it!
I hate losing plants....I know they are "just plants" but when you nurse them along and baby them and get them to grow, bloom, and be pretty and they die....it's like losing a friend..... Crying
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Nov 16, 2014 8:49 PM CST
You should submit this as a tip Kim! It's great!
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: BrendaVR
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6a)
Dragonflies Butterflies Region: Canadian
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BrendaVR
Nov 29, 2014 1:46 PM CST
Oh dear...well intentioned and its great to recycle but please research birds....glad you at least mentioned the roasting in the sun but overall this type of house is likely to cause more damage than good. In areas with European House Sparrows this will benefit them and seldom benefit any one else.

http://www.sialis.org/hosp.htm#theproblem

At the very least KNOW what bird is using it and be SURE to evict the non natives that harm our local native bird populations. In the urban areas a jug is 99% sure to get House Sparrows and House Sparrows only ...they they go off and destroy other species nests...this is really upsetting. Especially when you see it first hand. (I've lost Chickadees, House Wrens, Bluebirds...my neighbor had a House Finch nest destroyed...)

and one of the comments on the 'tips' post is right the hole is way to big...and if a native bird does find it it has a high chance of getting eaten by predators. actually the giant hole will provide enough room for the parent bird to escape a House Sparrow so maybe its not a bad thing....a House Sparrow will KILL any bird it can trap in a house...

Helping birds is great!
Just be sure you ARE helping the birds.
If we had no holes in our leaves we would have no butterflies!
[Last edited by BrendaVR - Nov 29, 2014 1:52 PM (+)]
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