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Old 12-10-2015, 04:17 PM
 
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We just moved in to a new house off Culebra, past 1604. Unfortunately in this new house, in this new development, we have no mature trees, and my initial attempts to attract birds with a backyard bird feeder have failed. We will plant some trees and shrubs in the spring but for now is there anything I can do?
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Old 12-10-2015, 05:28 PM
 
Location: TX
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I'm no expert, but I'm a bird-lover! It may take a little time, but some birds will find the feeder eventually. Try to offer them a variety of good quality seeds. Water is good also. And when the hummingbirds come back next spring, consider a hummingbird feeder. BTW, I have one feeder hanging from a tall shepherd's pole, if you can't think of any other place to hang it from. Check out these urls, maybe give them a call or email and they should have more expert advice than I have. And let us know later on how it's going! Good luck!

San Antonio Audubon Society
Wild Birds Unlimited | Discover a Refuge In Your Own Backyard | San Antonio, TX

Last edited by Lee W.; 12-10-2015 at 06:20 PM..
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Old 12-10-2015, 05:32 PM
 
Location: the 50s and the 60s
834 posts, read 1,791,534 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyAnne View Post
We just moved in to a new house off Culebra, past 1604. Unfortunately in this new house, in this new development, we have no mature trees, and my initial attempts to attract birds with a backyard bird feeder have failed. We will plant some trees and shrubs in the spring but for now is there anything I can do?
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Old 12-10-2015, 05:50 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
37,677 posts, read 55,343,583 times
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We have more species of birds in Texas than any other state in the U.S.! You can attract many to your landscape by having plants that provide cover and food. It possible to have plants that supply food for birds year around.
Those are plants that grow easily in San Antonio climate and soil:

To provide plants with nectar, consider cross vine, Salvia greggii, Mexican honeysuckle, Mexican bush sage, esperanza, firebush, poinciana and cape honeysuckle in the sun. For the shade - Texas gold columbine, Salvia coccinea, dwarf ruellia, pentas and firespike .

To attract fruit eaters (orioles and cedar waxwings), plant yaupon holly, pyracantha, ligustrum and hackberries.
Viburnums provide spring berries and will grow in the shade. Blackberries and figs are bountiful producers. You may be willing to share some of the fruit with the birds.

For seed eaters (goldfinches, cardinals, titmice, sparrows, doves and chickadees) plant sunflowers. They come in many sizes and colors. Pretty ornamental and great seeds for birds. For a special experience, plant a patch of Maximilian sunflower seeds in full sun where you can observe them. Many birds are attracted to their seeds.

Select few plants from each category for diversity, including ground covers, perennials, small shrubs, large shrubs, small trees and shade trees.

Good luck and happy planting! You will have lots of fun with all the birds in your backyard

P.S. Buy a feeder for hummingbirds. Prepare sugar syrup at home (cheaper!)
And enjoy them from March to November.
Buy or build a bird house (s), and stock with different kind of seeds.

Birdbath is cute but attracts mosquito.
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Old 12-10-2015, 06:14 PM
 
108 posts, read 84,722 times
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Looks like you are doing just fine. It will all happen if you let it. I got Cardinals here. I get them around this time every year. I have Chinese Pastiche trees. They grow fast and produce berries that birds like. I have cats too. Mockingbirds and Cats are fun to watch. I just switched to Direct TV so I will probably turn my other Dish into a bird bath. My dad raised birds. He used them as a tax exemption for his bird business. He had a freezer full of dead birds in case he was ever audited. I liked some of those birds. It was kind of like an old Alfred Hichkock.movie.
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Old 12-10-2015, 07:12 PM
 
Location: Texas
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The wife is a major birder. We have 2 bird baths and it's kinda neat to watch as they drink from one and bathe in the other. We have a trellis that can "seat" close to 100 at a time and I built a hitching post that's about 6 foot long that probably holds 50 or so. Otherwise the fence is lined with them as well as the roof of my workshop. She has 6 feeders and feeds about 100 lbs of milo a week.......you read that right, a hundred pounds a week. I usually pick up 3 to 600 pounds at Mummes Feed in Rio Medina. It's actually not bad priced at 7 dollars for 50 lbs. The birds LOVE it! The white seed crap that you buy at HEB, etc will not attract flies and certainly not birds. We get mourning doves, white wings doves, mexican doves and mayan doves in 10-20 groups of 30-40 at a time. Sparrows in groups about the same and probably 20-30 different groups. Finches, cardinals, blue jays, scrub jays, you name it, we get 'em. If the yard is full of birds, when you open the back door, the wind from their wings blows leaves up on the patio. You can hear them take off across the street there's so many. Since the weather has changed we don't have near as many but still have so many most folks don't believe it even watching it. They seem to come back every year as some will feed right at your feet while putting out more feed or just doing yard work. They'll even come on the covered patio to feed if it's raining.

Only from my own experience, if you want to attract birds you have to feed them what they want. We bought all kinds of wild bird seed even from feed stores. One of which had quite a lot of milo in it. The milo disappeared and the rest remained. They threw the white seed out of the feeders on the ground and won't touch it. That's when we started buying milo only and it's snowballed on us. I keep it in several 44 gallon metal trash cans with lids. Each will hold 200 lbs. I have 3 of them. You also need to keep fresh water out for them. You must change it everyday. During the summer on weekends, I have to fill both bird baths 3-4 times a day. My BB are about 42" across and maybe only 3-4" deep. You might also want to plant something like plumeria or plumbago. They will hide in it if they sense danger and will sleep in it during the cold weather. I blow the leaves up into it for the earth worms and for the birds to stay warm in the cold night. Anyway, it seems to work at my house. A lot of folks complain about them being messy but the only mess they make is right at the feeders and a water hose takes care of that. They're a hoot to watch.

WE have 4 of the tube type feeders that we got at Tractor Supply. I think we paid something like 8 bucks each. We have 2 school house feeders we got at Lowes. We use the red clay pot saucers for feeders too. I think most of it though that they eat is just off of the ground. I can turn a 10x10 area red with milo and it can be gone in about 20 minutes sometimes.
MILO

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Old 12-10-2015, 07:58 PM
 
108 posts, read 84,722 times
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Reading your post was hard for me because I had a hard day. I think they used to call Milo " High Gear" but that was a long time ago. I think they are trying to market it now for human consumption. I have been hearing about this new miracle grain that will rid you of your Ills cure you of your fears. They did it in Las Vegas and they can do it here. I know birds like it. I think you can pop it like popcorn. Maybe I am thinking of something else
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Old 12-10-2015, 10:36 PM
 
Location: Texas
5,619 posts, read 12,918,015 times
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You might be thinking of Hegira which is a similar sorghum. Milo is a type of sorghum as is millet. Hegira is a white seed and is kinda dry and chalky.
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Old 12-10-2015, 11:03 PM
 
Location: TX
3,929 posts, read 4,684,575 times
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I mostly use the Audubon Supreme blend birdseed I buy at Lockhill Feed. It attracts a wide variety of birds. Any time you put out only one kind of birdseed, you'll only get the birds that like that kind and others will just go elsewhere. I also supplement with unshelled peanuts, suet and additional Nyjer. Lots of birds come here. The last few years I've enjoyed having Scott's Orioles nesting in the area, which only seem to come to the hummingbird feeders.
Attached Thumbnails
Any SA backyard bird experts?-scotts-oriole-male.jpg  
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Old 12-11-2015, 12:55 AM
 
108 posts, read 84,722 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrapperL View Post
You might be thinking of Hegira which is a similar sorghum. Milo is a type of sorghum as is millet. Hegira is a white seed and is kinda dry and chalky.
Yes Thank you for that information. This goes back to when I was working summers on the farm around Dehannis as a kid. Just a part of the puzzle of growing up. My uncle Monroe lost his thumb in a Hay bailing accident. My mom read us the letter at a picnic in Olmos park. I will never forget it. When I saw him at the farm years later his thumb was gone. It didn't seem to bother him much. My dad was in all the bird clubs around San Antonio. He even got some stuff published in cagebird magazine. He passed away 3 years ago.
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