Need perching place for backyard birds in landscape.

tamsea(z-5 Ohio)June 17, 2012

I'm not sure if this is the right forum for this but I thought I would try.

I have a split rail fence around my backyard that is rotting and we either have to replace most of the posts or just get rid of the fence.

I really am in favor of getting rid of it because when we sit on our porch (cement slab) we can't see our pond well that is behind the fence because the rail is in the way and mowing would be easier.

I'm against removing it because I love my backyard birds and they perch on this fence. I've gotten some great shots of Coopers Hawks, Norther Flickers, Tree Swallows, Bluebird fledglings etc on this fence.

I'm considering keeping the corners of the fence only, but do you have any ideas for new perching areas that I could make for my birds? We have 3 trees but don't really want to add anymore because we don't want it to block our view of the pond. I know this is a long shot but thought I would try.

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Seeing that the holes are already there, I would simply remove the old rotted posts and fence railings, then cement in some tall cedar
four by fours or steel poles in strategic places. You can leave them plain or alternatively, top them off artistically with birdhouses,
wind spinners, weather vanes or home-made trellising upon which birds can perch.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 11:01PM
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Heh, clothesline poles would be perfect.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 7:39AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

There are lots of relatively inexpensive wrought iron poles that you can attach a variety of things to hang feeders or perches on. That's what we have on one side af the driveway. We started with the pole and one hanger for a feeder. There are now two hangers for feeders (different kind of seed for different birds...) and a straight perch attachment. I'm not sure if you have an Urban Nature store there or not - that's where we got ours.

The pole and one of the feeders:

This cardinal is on the perch attachment:

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 10:36AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

ACK! I hit 'submit' by accident while editing...!

The cardinal is at the link below (one of DH's pictures...)

Here is a link that might be useful: Cardinal on perch

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 10:49AM
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karinl(BC Z8)

I can see why you want to keep it... birds in trees are not as clearly visible as they are on fences.

Obviously the birds only sit on the top rail, so you only need one rail, and you could maybe play with the height of that so it doesn't block your view - higher or lower may work better than where it is now.

You could also install some other structures BEFORE you remove the fence, and see if they sit on those.

I have not looked, but there must be ideas on the internet about structures that birds like to perch on, nest in, etc.

Karin L

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 1:37PM
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terrene(5b MA)

My parcel of 1.25 acres can be described as an open woodland or "savannah". There are plenty of trees but they are spaced farther apart than a woodland. I purposely have left snags or dead trunks standing in the back yard (until they eventually fall over), and had Bluebirds that nested in woodpecker holes for 2 years in the snags! I also refrain from pruning most of the dead lower branches on the trees, because the birds love to use these for perching spots.

I have saved some large branches that were pruned from the trees, and have a natural and gnarly shape, with the purpose of burying the butt end of the branches about 1 - 1.5 feet into the ground and this provides great perching spots for the birds.

I also built a 25 foot long trellis out of natural wood - the straight trunks of Norway maple and Ash saplings mostly, but also adorned with ornamental and curving branches - on which I grow morning glories, Cardinal Climber, and native Honeysuckle and Virginia Creeper. The birds love to perch on this trellis!

This type of landscaping is "naturalized" - and is not a formal, highly manicured landscape - but the birds love it!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 9:01PM
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