Seasons tweetings to one and all! As the days tick down to Christmas and the final touches are placed on home decorations, remember that the way you decorate can have an impact on wildlife, specifically the North American songbird populations. This is why it is so important to take action in preserving the songbird species on our continent in every way that we can. Here are some things you can do this holiday season to spread Christmas cheer while still protecting North American songbirds.
Choose More Natural Outdoor Decorations
Using outdoor holiday decorations made of native fauna is one of the best things you can do for wildlife. If you hang up wreaths or garland on your porch for the winter season, natural is always better as birds try to snack on them. Mistletoe is a great way to spruce up your home and is a favorite treat of migratory songbirds. If you are more partial to artificial decorations, be sure to avoid anything that resembles a food source as artificial edible-looking berries may confuse birds when they are looking for food and cause them to ingest plastic and/or Styrofoam.
Use Patterned Holiday Decals
Reflective surfaces can be a danger to birds no matter the season. However, the elaborate holiday light displays only add to this issue. If outdoor Christmas lights are left on all night, not only can this confuse wildlife who are not typically nocturnal, but this can also cause reflections to bounce off windows and disorient birds in their flight patterns. Birds can injure themselves by flying into windows and other reflective surfaces. To reduce the risk of this happening, patterned decals can be stuck to windows to deter birds from flying into them.
Avoid Using Netting or Small Wiring
Outdoor decorations with netting or small wires are a potential hazard for small migratory birds who may get snagged and caught in the decorations. Holiday decorations with large gauge wire are a better option because birds are not as likely to get caught in larger, less flexible wiring. Avoiding décor with a mesh back and instead finding some with a wood backing or metal framing is another way you can benefit North American songbirds during the holiday season.
Thank you for joining us in our efforts to protect the North American songbird populations this holiday season! Visit our Conservation Partners page to learn more about North American Songbird SAFE and how you can help.