How you can help protect wild birds in your yard

Native plant species provide birds with food and places to rest and nest.Native plant species provide birds with food and places to rest and nest.
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(Welcome to the weekly pet column of Pet Connection Programs Inc. of Marilla, N.Y. A new article is posted each week, so be sure to check back on a regular basis!)

You may not think about it often, but wild birds use your lawn as a rest stop and place to call home. As you spruce up your lawn and garden for the season, there are simple steps you can take to protect them and help them thrive.

According to Spencer Schock, founder of WindowAlert, makers of bird-friendly products for homes, the following changes are easy to implement in order to create a safe harbor for wild birds:

Plant native species: Planting native species on your property is one of the most impactful ways you can improve your local environment, as well as make your lawn and garden a healthy habitat for wild birds and other fauna. Native plant species provide birds with food and places to rest and nest. Birds in turn, spread pollen and seeds, while acting as a natural pesticide. Speaking of which, gardening organically will also go a long way to protecting the health and safety of feeding birds.

Make windows visible: Up to one billion birds die annually from striking windows in US, according to the American Bird Conservancy. The good news is that it’s relatively easy and affordable to prevent your home from being part of the problem. Special window decals that reflect ultraviolet sunlight, a wavelength of light noticeable to birds, have been proven to substantially reduce the likelihood of bird strikes. Giving the appearance of slightly frosted translucent glass but glowing like a stoplight for birds, those from WindowAlert feature a range of decorative patterns. To boost protection for birds, you can also apply a high-tech liquid called WindowAlert UV Liquid in between decals. More information, as well as useful application tips, can be found by visiting windowalert.com.

Monitor cats: Monitor your cat’s time outdoors to ensure they are not terrorizing or hunting birds. An enclosed play area for your cat is the most effective way to keep birds in your yard safe from your furry companion’s natural instincts.

Good deeds start at home. This season, do your part to help migrating bird populations reach their destinations safely.
— StatePoint

(For more information on pets and animal adoption, please visit www.petconnectionprogramsinc.com. Or, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PetConnectionProgramsinc. Located in Marilla, N.Y., Pet Connection Programs Inc. is a nonprofit maternity and special care shelter founded in 1984.)

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