November: *

  1. Wait until spring to trim perennials and clean out shrub and flower beds. Birds will eat seeds, scruff in the leaves for bugs and hide in the debris.
  2. Use native trees and plants in your yard.  These areas create abundant food that fuel migrating birds and attract locally nesting birds.  
  3. Plant an English, Chinkapin, Bur, Gambel or Shumard Oak to provide acorns for Blue Jays, Steller’s Jay, Woodhouse’s Scrub Jay, Cedar Waxwings, Blue Gray Gnatcatcher, Downy Woodpeckers, and a variety of other birds.
  4. Get involved with Denver Audubon conservation groups and become active in promoting bird-friendly policy  (https://www.denveraudubon.org/conservation-research/ ).
  5. Fishermen take all of your fishing tackle home or dispose of it properly. Abandoned, tangled fishing line can entrap birds and seriously injure them. 
  6. Millions of birds collide with buildings every year as birds migrate at night and the building lights disorient them.  You can support “Lights Out Denver” (https://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/denver-parks-and-recreation/trees-natural-resources/wildlife/lights-out-denver.html) by signing up your workplace building to turn off or dim lights during spring and fall migration.
  7. Prior to disposing of plastic cut six-pack holders or other rings so that birds don’t get caught in them.  Recycle plastic so it doesn’t end up in our oceans and fill the stomachs of birds, fish, whales, and other aquatic animals.  
  8. Pick up trash you see outside! Birds can get sick or trapped in trash. Don’t litter – birds many confuse small pieces of trash for food and get sick or die.
  9. Get your kids involved!  Denver Audubon has numerous educational programs for families, check them out at https://www.denveraudubon.org/outreach-programs/ .
  10. Put up a bird house or two in your yard. Several birds are receptive to using species-appropriate houses including House Wrens, Western Bluebirds, Black-capped Chickadees, Northern Flickers, and Tree Swallows

* – Make a difference, become a member of the  Denver Audubon team (www.denveraudubon.com). Volunteer with us today!  

October:

  1. Sign up to participate in Nest Watch (www.nestwatch.org ) and collect valuable data on the successes and failures of nesting birds in your area.
  2. Start a compost pile. It’s not only a great way to eliminate waste going to landfills but it also provides a great environment for worms and grubs – bird’s favorite food.
  3. Improve your understanding of bird habitats, behaviors, and your birding skills by registering for one of Denver Audubon’s Field Trips (www.denveraudubon.com ). Led by Master Birders, our trips go all over metro-Denver and many are free!
  4. Add a suet feeder to attract nuthatches, woodpeckers, Bushtits, and chickadees. In the fall, add peanuts to your bird feeder for Northern Flickers, jays, and nuthatches. They’ll eat as much as they can and cache the rest for winter.
  5. In an out-of-the-way part of the yard create a brush pile with rocks and branches as cover for birds from potential predators.
  6. Plant tubular flowers to attract hummingbirds. Hummingbird mint, trumpet vine, penstemon, coneflowers, geraniums, petunias and lantanas are just a few of the many perennials and annuals that will attract these amazing aviators.
  7. Plant cone-producing evergreen trees like spruce and pine to provide both seeds and cover for birds. Woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches, and Pine Siskins are all conifer seed eaters. If you’re lucky, you’ll even attract Red Crossbills.
  8. If you have a dead tree in yard, remove only enough branches to ensure no damage to buildings from it falling and leave it for birds like woodpeckers, nuthatches, and chickadees to pick at and nest in.
  9. Hunters please do not use lead shot. Lead can poison vultures, eagles, and other raptors which may eat the carcass. Encourage others not to use lead shot.
  10. Join Highline Canal Conservancy cleanup days or a “BioBlitz” to help identify birds, insects, and plants on 71 miles of canal trails running through Denver (https://highlinecanal.org/).

* – Make a difference, become a member of the  Denver Audubon team (www.denveraudubon.com). Volunteer with us today!  

September:

Cat with bird in mouth
  1. The second leading cause of preventable bird deaths is being killed by domestic cats. If you have a pet cat, please keep it indoors.  Aurora limits the number of cats per household to limit free-roaming felines.
  2. If you have mice or rats in your house or yard don’t use poisons to get rid of them. Poisoned rodents are eaten by owls and hawks who are then poisoned themselves.
  3. Buy a Colorado Lottery ticket!  The money goes to protecting Colorado’s wilderness and creating trails, parks, pools, and recreation.
  4. Join us for Walk the Wetlands on the first Sunday of every month.  This walk has been going on for more than 20 years.  Meet at the Denver Audubon Nature Center.  Check our calendar for times at www.denveraudubon.com.
  5. Eliminate the use of herbicidal weed killers like Roundup which seep into local waterways and contaminate the water supply for wildlife.
  6. Use organic mulch (wood chips, compost, pine needles) around planting beds to improve the soil, reduce water usage and encourage earthworms.
  7. Next summer plan to plant sunflowers as a natural source of seeds for finches, chickadees, and nuthatches.
  8. Plant berry-bearing trees and bushes. Crabapples, cedars, hawthorns, serviceberries, dogwood, viburnum are among the best berry-producing plants for birds on the front range attracting a wide range of birds including Cedar Waxwings, Townsend’s Solitaires, American Robins,and Gray Catbirds.
  9. Plan to join the four-day Great Backyard Bird Count (http://gbbc.birdcount.org/) in February to create an annual snapshot of the abundance and distribution of birds.
  10. Enlist your neighbors and wider community to help incorporate bird-friendly plantings in yards, parks, workplaces, schoolyards, and other public areas.

August:

Bird-Window Collision
Wildlife Issues
  1. Window collisions are the leading cause of preventable bird deaths. Put streamers outside of windows and screens or use stickers to highlight your windows.
  2. Grab a pair of binoculars and learn to identify the common birds in the Denver-metro area.  Top 50 are listed at Denver Audubon website: www.denveraudubon.org/uncategorized/50-birds-in-denver/
  3. Support open space!  Buy a state parks pass, national parks pass, and support your local open space. Open spaces provide habitat for many bird species that can’t survive in metropolitan areas.
  4. Set up bird feeders to bring more birds to your yard. Make sure to clean the feeders regularly with soap and hot water and rinse well. Sunflower seeds are the most relished food for most birds, though niger/thistle seed is more attractive to American and Lesser Goldfinches while Mountain and Western Bluebirds like mealworms.
  5. Use a mulching mower to return grass clippings to your yard. Not only does this reduce fertilizer requirements but it also increases the earthworms and other natural composters in your soil. Let your lawn grow to the highest level of your mower to encourage better foraging for worms and bugs
  6. Consider turning a part or all of your yard to a native grass and wildflower area. This provides birds with natural food sources and habitat.
  7. If you are lucky enough to have a nest in your yard, keep dogs and children away from the nest and enjoy watching the babies fledge.
  8. Don’t use pesticides on your plants and lawn.  If there are no insects in your yard, there is no food for the birds.  Let the birds help you take care of bugs in your yard. 
  9. Age 13-17? Join Denver Audubon’s Young Birders Club (www.denveraudubon.org/young-birders-club/).  Many of our young birders go on to study Ornithology and contribute to our community.
  10. Set out a hummingbird feeder using 1/4 cup of sugar to 1 cup of water. Red dye is not necessary. If you use hummingbird feeders change the sugar water every 3-5 days.  Clean the feeder once a week with soap and hot water, then rinse well.