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Louisville, protect Kentucky's backyard birds this spring

Robins are some of Kentucky's most beautiful birds.
Robins are some of Kentucky's most beautiful birds.
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Kentucky has some of the most beautiful birds in the world. Kentuckians must do their part to protect backyard birds from predators. When homeowners encourage birds to visit their backyards, they often overlook the fact that they are providing an easy meal for predators. Along with the privilege of enjoying the sight of these beautiful members of the animal kingdom comes responsibility. Homeowners who encourage birds to visit must do everything in their power to provide a safe haven for them.

There are many predatory birds that survive off of smaller birds and their eggs or nestlings. To increase the backyard birds' chances for survival from predatory birds, provide a thick covering such as shrubs and hedges, although this doesn't protect them from cats or dogs. A better solution would be to put wire mesh over the entrance to the shrub or bush after the eggs are laid in the nest and incubating. Doing so before, may create a danger that the mother bird might abandon the nest. Make sure to leave a small opening in the covering for the mother to enter.

If there are woodpeckers in the area, enclosed nest boxes should be protected by backing the nest hole with a metal plate drilled with a similar sized hole. Woodpeckers have been known to drill into the nest boxes with their long, sharp bills or reach inside to steal nestlings.

Rats and mice will steal and eat birds' eggs when given the opportunity. Always store bird, cat and dog food in tightly sealed containers if left outside. These rodents are always on the look-out for surplus food and will help themselves to birds' eggs while their at it.

Squirrels are acrobatic rodents and can easily raid bird feeders, nests and tables. Mounting the table on plastic drainpipes (PVC) will create a slippery surface that squirrels, rats and cats can't climb. Squirrel resistant feeders can also be purchased. Again, covering the feeder with a strong wire cage can help out-smart the squirrels.

Humans have encroached on the birds' natural habitat. If we are to share that habitat with them, we must all do our part to protect these beautiful animals from every kind of predator. Once a genus or species of bird is obliterated it is gone forever, meaning future generations will not have the privilege of enjoying them. Therefore, keep the cat indoors, and build safe feeders to protect backyard birds from predators.

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