Feeding backyard birds is one of the greatest joys in life, but it's important to take steps to keep the birds healthy in the process. Use these tips to make your backyard an appealing and safe space.
Keep Things Clean
Dirty feeders can spread disease. Completely empty yours about once every two weeks, and more often in wet weather or if the food looks moldy. Take each feeder apart, then clean it thoroughly with dish soap and boiling water or a dilute bleach solution (one-part bleach to nine parts water). Rinse the feeder well, dry it completely and refill with fresh seeds or other bird food. Clean hummingbird feeders and change the sugar water every three to five days.
Provide Window Warnings
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Spring, the season of new garden beginnings, is upon us. Here are the crazes that four industry pros forecast for this year.
A Thrill of Color
Buntings always stand out in a crowd-learn where to find them and the field marks that set these birds apart.
Attract rose-breasted grosbeaks with insects, fruits, seeds and plenty of room to perch.
Flights of Fancy
Painted lady butterflies rival monarchs in their migratory journeys.
Readers look back at their spring birding highlights.
New Plants for 2022
Find fresh flower varieties to spruce up your landscape.
Design and create baskets brimming with gorgeous blooms and foliage.
FOR THE LOVE OF Mom
In honor of Mother's Day, readers reflect on plants with special meaning.
Get to know Goldfinches
American goldfinches may be common, but they're full of surprises.
Create a Safe a Bird Haven
"Dish out seeds in a healthy environment."
Sightings in the Subregion
Mid-November 2021 to mid-January 2022 -Summer delivered some top-shelf birds and fortunately a number of the best ones stayed sufficiently long to be twitchable for many birders throughout the region.
The Young & the Restless Peregrine Falcons
It is 04h30 and I am woken from fitful sleep by a clamour of screeching, seemingly right next to my head. It takes a second for me to orientate myself and process what is happening. I am sleeping on a lumpy fold-out chair on the fifth floor of the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Rondebosch, Cape Town, and I realise that about a metre above my head is one of the breeding boxes for the hospital’s well known Peregrine Falcons. The juveniles are up early and in a demanding mood.
The Eyes Have It
Iris coloration in birds (particularly passerines) is a topic that has intrigued me ever since I started observing the behaviour of different starling species.
Where Will You Be in 10 Years?
Here's how to figure it out and start working toward that future vision now.
Legends often prophesize a chosen one who will rise from nothing to rescue the masses. Many times the chosen one will bear a mark or symbol, a way to reveal their true identity. Aaron Birdsall carries one such mark on his back. Non-believers may say it’s merely a tattoo procured in an impetuous moment, but it may very well be a sign Birdsall will become the rocker who was prophesied, destined for greatness.
Free for All
"In august 2020 the results of the critical vulture nesting survey held annually in Zululand, northern KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), were sobering."
Urban Perils - House Sparrows on the decline
Supertramps are species that have spread around the world in association with humans and they include rats, house mice and a host of weedy plant species.
Blue over Green, Tent in Between
I’m old , I’m cranky. Why do I keep air-camping?
When you are an ant, the stakes are always high. There are those who would eat you—birds, snakes, bigger bugs—and those who could trample you and your environment in a single sneakered step. These enormous beings may not mean you any harm, but it is impact, not intention, that matters most.
The Island of Birds
Imagine an island untouched by humans and without any large mammals. Colorful and strange birds of all shapes and sizes swoop over lush forests and seaside hills.