Local Songbird Emergency!
Help from Nancy Bauer our Co-founder. Do this now!
This month we heard that a salmonella epidemic, spread via bird baths and bird feeders, is killing pine siskins, a small songbird in the finch family. If you have bird feeders and birdbaths, it is so important to keep them clean. Bird feeders can spread disease among wild bird populations from contaminated food and feeder surfaces. Birdbaths should be scrubbed out regularly with a brush and biodegradable soap and filled with fresh water daily. For more recommendations on how to care for bird feeders and birdbaths, go to https://birdrescuecenter.org/salmonellosis/
To enhance the bird habitat value of your garden, plant as many native plants as possible, especially berry-producing trees and shrubs. Letting your flowers, especially members of the sunflower family, go to seed in the fall feed finches, juncos, and other seed-eating birds.
These seed and berry-producing native shrubs offer great bird habitat value:
Blue elderberry (Sambucus spp.)
Red-twigged dogwood (Cornus sericea)
California lilac (Ceanothus spp.)
California wild rose (Rosa californica)
Coffeeberry (Rhamnus californica)
Hollyleaf cherry (Prunus ilicifolia); P. lyonii; P.virginiana demissa
Pacific wax myrtle (Myrica californica)
Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia)
Oregon grape (Berberis spp.)