Posted by Birdhouse Guy | Posted in Attract Local Birds, Bird Behavior, bird food, Bird Preservation, Bird Seeds | Posted on 15-03-2013
Some of the foods that may really surprise you are numerous. Ranging from the Anna’s Hummingbird sand, to the Rufous Hummingbirds soil, to brown lemming bones which are a treat to the Arctic Sandpipers, there are all types of bird food that you and I may deem peculiar. If you have been camping, or are planning to soon, you may find some unexpected visitors at the remains of your bonfire the night before. No, I’m not talking about some wanderer looking for a piece of hot dog that fell in the fire, but I’m talking about wild birds ranging from Hummingbirds, to Wild Turkey’s to even an occasional Chickadee.Chickadees, Crossbills and Turkeys have been seen consuming ashes along with Hummingbirds, which usually can be found licking the powdery stuff from the surface of an old fire. This may sound VERY strange considering a Hummingbirds diet consists mainly of an overload of liquid. A typical Hummingbird will consume almost twice its own weight in nectar and urinates about 80 percent of its weight. That would be like you and I urinating about 20 gallons of liquid per day. WOW! That is a lot of liquid isn’t it? A biologist from Alta Loma California, James des Lauriers, has noted that ashes are loaded with calcium and this is what is needed especially after a Hummingbird finishes laying her eggs, which are composed of calcium carbonate. So this depletion causes her to want more calcium. How to remedy this? Throw some egg shells out and watch the song birds and wild bird have at it. Ashes are loaded with calcium. Wood ashes produces a specific kind of lime rendering about 3/4 of calcium oxide. The ash also renders a good amount of sodium oxide as well. One observation showed that after a hummingbird laid her eggs, she went after the calcium found in the ashes.
As you may know, the mortar and brick on some of your houses also inhabit a certain amount of calcium that will attract other song birds such as the finches in your yard. All the bird seed in the world may not stop their activities of gnawing on your chimney’s, but egg shells may help to detour their activity.
I don’t want you to feel like you have to produce piles of ashes in your backyard network in order to help meet the need of these feathered calcium seekers. Egg shells will help to do the job after you sterilize them. Let the egg shells boil for about 10 minutes or you can put them on a baking sheet in your oven set at 250 degrees for about 15 minutes or so. Then crush the shells into small bits and scatter them about your observation points and patios. You can even mix them in with your wild bird seed in your backyard bird feeders.
I hope this will help you in your quest to make your backyard network the very BEST that it can be. For more information on how you can acquire tips and supplies for your backyard, simply visit: The Birdhouse Outlet or Edible Bird Feeders!