Even the smallest backyard has potential for songbirds. Just sit and listen for a while and you can hear their harmony in nature’s chorus. Each species of songbird has its own song, chirp and beauty of feather.

Keepers of the Yard
Songbirds are wonderful custodians of our backyards and parks. Some, like the Bluebird, are insectivores, making meals of tiny bugs. Titmouse and Wren clean the trees and ground of seed. Pollinators help our flowers thrive by carrying pollen on their beaks from one flower to the next. Scrub Jays are even tree planters; they busy acorns that, when forgotten, become wonderful oaks. All have a way of turning an ear with their beautiful song of spring.

The songs we hear in spring are primarily male songbirds in search of a mate. The female does sing but not as often as a male. Migrating birds, such as Orioles, Tanagers and Warblers, make long trips to escape harsh winters in warmer regions. They then return to their homes for mating.

If a particular bird seems to be more vocal than usual, remember they’re looking for a mate. It will only be a springtime event and will stop shortly. Enjoy these beautiful songs.

My cat wants to play with backyard birds
To warn unsuspecting birds, put multiple bells on your cat’s collar. Keeping your cat indoors will benefit wildlife greatly and protect your cat as well.

Protecting backyard fruit and vegetables
Although some types of birds eat unwanted insects they can also destroy fruit and vegetable crops. Placing plastic owls, snakes, aluminum foil flags, wind chimes, or streamers in the problem area will scare them away. Remember to move the owl or snake often or the birds may become accustomed to them.

Nest building in the house
Place wire over the top of the chimney in the wintertime to deter nesting in springtime. For birds that are in the process of nest building you can disrupt the nest before eggs have been laid. It is, however, against federal law to disturb most bird nests that have eggs or babies.

Birds keep hitting a window
The sun’s glare on a window creates a mirror effect, so birds may see themselves and think it is an intruder. Birds are trying to protect their territory by attacking their image. Try closing your curtains, placing bird silhouettes or static-cling decals randomly on your windows.

How do I get a bird out of my house?
Birds will typically fly toward light. Close all the curtains and turn off the lights. Leave the doors open and let the bird find its own way out. Don’t try to catch or chase it out. This will stress the bird and may cause it to injure itself.

Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley
3027 Penitencia Creek Road
San Jose, CA 95132
1-408-929-9453 (929-WILD)

Hours: 9 am to 5 pm, 7 days a week
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WCSV is a leased facility of the Santa Clara County Parks & Recreation Department,
funded in part by support from the City of San Jose, the City of Milpitas, the City of Sunnyvale and Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority