Save your holiday greens to help the birds!
As bitter winter winds blow through the leafless trees and forest birds search for the shelter of an evergreen, we can offer them some help by repurposing our leftover holiday greenery.
With the loss of woodlands, backyard habitats have become increasingly important for birds that stay with us through the winter months. Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology just published a friendly reminder that we can extend the usefulness of our holiday trees, wreaths and other greenery by putting them near feeders and in yards, among other things, to offer birds thermal refuge, instead of just tossing them to the curb.
Arranging evergreen branches near feeders and birdbaths can protect birds from wind and storms and provide hours of bird watching entertainment from the comfort of our homes. They can also be turned into birdhouses, which small birds will use in the winter if they’re left up year round. However, if that kind of project isn’t in the cards for you, simply creating a pile of brush outside with leftover trees will also help provide shelter and create a refuge and hiding place for birds and other wildlife.
Roosting in dense conifers in the cold of winter provides body heat for birds and can save them 1.3 hours of feeding the next day, according to the lab.
Read the full story here.