From UpGardner Bonnie.
Birds, even humming birds eat insects. They are also helpful in pollenating our plants. And they add to the urban environment.
I recently went to a workshop on attracting birds and found out that in our environment, our best bet is attracting humming birds. Humming birds are attracted to flowers that butterflies also like such as cosmos, Echinacea, and columbine. Lavender attracts humming birds and bees. Since pollinators help your vegetables grow, you might want to plant some of these flowers in your garden plots. I will leave a copy of lists of good flowers for attracting birds in the trailer. I am also working at getting seeds for us which I will also leave in the trailer. Many of the flowers that the common beds committee is working on for the common bed planting attract pollinators including birds. If you grow flowers with large seeds such as sun flowers, leave the heads on them over the winter since birds will feed off them. Please do not hang suet or seed feeders as these attract rats. I will be hanging some hummingbird feeders to encourage our hummingbirds. We have already seen some up at the garden this year. Since the feeders have to be cleaned out every few days to prevent bacteria from growing, there is a certain kind I want to use. If you would like to contribute towards buying them, please contact me at email@example.com.
This next week we will be hanging bird houses, also known as nesting boxes. These nesting boxes will have small holes so that only small birds such as chickadees will use them. That way we will not encourage starlings, etc. We will be doing our best to hang them where they will keep as cool as possible. We need to make nesting materials available. Small birds use cat hair, dog hair, human hair (such as from your brush), moss, shredded bark and small twigs. I will place a manila envelope in the crate in the trailer where you can put these things. If you see these items on the ground close to the nesting boxes, please leave them there for the birds.
Birds also need water, but once again we don’t want to encourage starlings or crows. So the best way to supply water for the smaller birds is to place a shallow saucer somewhere in your plot. The water should be kept fresh for the birds and also to prevent mosquito’s larva being laid there. If anyone has a fountain with small “cups” and that runs off a battery, please let me know if you would like to donate it to the garden.