This time of year is a beautiful time. Trees are forever changing and lighting up the days with colors of fall. Kids are excited to attend pumpkin patches, pick out their Halloween costumes, and attend parties during their fall break.
You may think all of your pretty summer birds have disappeared. Soon and very soon, however, your feeders will be busy with finches, juncos and more. I might add that when the snow birds arrive, it is all too close to winter for me.
Many weeds that we see during the summer and get so irritated at are great food for birds especially this time of year. Pigweeds are good for small seed-eating birds; ragweeds are good for sparrows, juncos, horned larks, robins; Lamb’s quarter is good for quail, finches, doves; Chicory (corn-flower blue blooms), are good for Finches, juncos and Pine Siskins; Smartweeds and highly popular with quail, and almost all seed eating birds; Chickweed is relished by finches, blackbirds, and all the above; Dandelion is a favorite of many of the same and also rose-breasted grosbeak.
Game birds also like dandelions and eat both seeds and leaves. CRP and Quail buffers are excellent locations for fall non-migrating birds to find some of these and along the roadways. If you can tolerate a few weeds in your garden, or have a wild-patch for them, you can attract a lot of birds with weeds. Hard to believe. If you can’t bear the thought of a weedy garden, then at least let some of the more attractive ones linger until frost or near so they can be eaten. Some also let the occasional weed grow in their flower gardens for the purpose of feeding the birds.
Moral of this story? If you want more birds to visit your yard and too linger longer, invite a few weeds to stay. You may find yourself beginning to look on common weeks with a brand new perspective. Until next time, good bird watching.