Top 5 Spring Tasks for Birds


by Lynda Haake

As the number of daylight hours lengthen and temperatures rise, it’s only natural to start getting itchy to get back into the garden. But, while it’s still too early to plant or disturb over-wintering insects by cleaning up the yard, it’s not too early to help our local birds get ready for the breeding season and make our yards welcome to summer migrants as they arrive. Here are the top 5 things you can do now (as recommended by the New Hope Audubon Society):

1. Lights out at Night! Birds migrate by the stars. Outside lights confuse them. Turn lights off from now – May 31 to help them reach their breeding grounds.

2. Make sure nest boxes are ready. My bluebirds are beginning to build a nest! Make sure you have your clean nest boxes up and ready. Do not intervene if a nest is already being started or nestlings fall.

3. Clean feeders and bird baths. Use this solution to clean your feeders and bird baths: 1 part bleach to 9 parts water. Make sure you do this every 2-3 weeks during spring and summer. If you notice sick birds, take all feeders and baths down for 10-14 days. Suet cages can be left up.

4. Plant natives: Once it’s a good time to plant, remove invasives and plant natives for pollinators and wildlife. There are a number of native plant nurseries in our area. The North Carolina Botanical Garden is a great resource. But remember: Please don’t plant or clean up the garden until temps have been over 50 degrees for a week or so. That usually means later in March.

5. Leave your leaves! Leaves provide cover for insects, caterpillars and fireflies. They also provide free mulch and nutrients, and shade plant roots. There’s no reason to remove leaves from the garden as they will enrich the soil and established plants will have no trouble coming up through the leaf cover.

Learn more at:

Lynda Haake (

New Hope Audubon Coordinator for Leave your Leaves and Light’s Out
Chapel Hill, NC

Share This Article

Scroll down to make a comment.

Be the first to comment on "Top 5 Spring Tasks for Birds"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.