There’s a simple solution to two problems often encountered by people who feed birds in their backyards. Either few birds visit the feeder or the darn birds perch on deck chairs and poop on the furniture.

Birds shun a backyard feeder for many reasons, but the most common is lack of habitat. Birds mainly visit feeders with a wide array of trees, shrubs and grasses with water close by. Offer expensive gourmet bird feed in poor habitat and few birds will come. Those that do will usually be English sparrows and pigeons.

Birds prefer perching on natural branches while waiting their turn to hop on a feeder. If few branches are around they’ll often use outdoor furniture and make a mess.

The long term solution to both problems is to plant a diversity of trees, shrubs, tall grasses and wildflowers in the yard. These can take years to mature. A short term solution is to erect what Winding Pathways calls “Poop Posts.” Scrounge a few dead branches eight or ten feet long, dig a hole and “plant them” in the yard about a dozen feet from feeders and away from furniture. These fake trees give birds a place to perch and when they poop it becomes lawn fertilizer. Come spring simply remove the sticks.

Give yourself and your feathered friends a break and set a poop post in the ground before freeze-up.

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