While many species of birds are able to hide their nests in dense foliage or grassy meadow areas, many others require holes for nesting. Some birds, such as woodpeckers, can excavate their own nesting cavities in dead or decaying trees. Others depend on abandoned nesting holes or natural cavities formed from fallen branches for places to build nests.
Although most birds prefer natural cavities for nesting, with the correct design a nesting box can serve as a good replacement. Setting up a nesting box in your yard can also provide you with hours of enjoyment watching the birds raise a family.
Mid-Coast Audubon builds nest boxes tailor-made for a variety of bird species including: Bluebirds (bearing the “Approved” stamp of the North American Bluebird Society), Tree Swallows, Tufted Titmice, Nuthatches, Chickadees ($25); Saw-whet Owls and American Kestrel ($30); and Wood Duck ($35). We also make bat boxes ($20). All boxes are specially hand made. Nest boxes can be purchased at Louis Doe Home Center on Route 1 in Newcastle, or by calling Lew Purinton at (207) 549-5257 or emailing him.
For information on where to place your nest box, when to install it, and how to maintain it, visit the National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife website.
Suet is a quick source of energy for birds, who’s metabolisms are set on fast forward. In spring, it meets the increased energy demands of nesting birds. In the summer months, it provides a good substitute for insect-eating birds, especially in years when insects are not very plentiful. In fall, suet helps wild birds store fat to prepare for migration or the coming winter. And of course, in winter, suet replenishes depleted stores of energy and nutrients, to help birds survive the long, cold months. Woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches, and many songbirds are attracted to this supplement to their diet.
Mid-Coast Audubon Suet Log feeders are easy to fill and will bring birds to your yard for easy viewing. Call Lew Purinton at (207) 549-5257 or email him and arrange to pick up your suet log feeder ($10) today.
Maine is fortunate to have eight bat species, and much of the work of protecting crops, gardens, and backyards can be attributed to the Little Brown and other bats. They are year-round residents of Maine. Although not active in winter, bats can be found in every Maine town, snugly resting next to a warm chimney, often without the home owner’s knowledge of their presence.
Bats are Maine’s greatest resource in controlling insects, since a bat may consume half its weight—or as many as 2,500 insects—in a single night. Bats forage widely over garden areas, open fields, streams, wetlands, and ponds. All are desirable habitats. Maine has plenty of flying insects from May through September but there is a housing shortage for bats.
That’s where Mid-Coast Audubon—and you, too—come in. Chapter members produce bat boxes designed for our latitude and made from native white pine at an affordable cost of $20. We make the boxes—you put them up! Almost everyone has a suitable location for one or more bat boxes. Bat boxes should preferably face west, mounted at least 10 feet above ground and free from obstructions below the box.
To get a bat box from Mid-Coast Audubon please call Lew Purinton at (207) 549-5257 or email him. Lew can provide more information about bats, and help you get a copy of Mid-Coast Audubon’s publication Maine’s Bats ($5 pp).