Diverse in form, colors and habits, Alaska's winter birds fascinate observers. However, low numbers of birds, their secretive habits, and the short winter days make bird_watching difficult. Cold binoculars and frozen fingers don't help matters, either! Bird_feeding is a popular way of attracting some winter birds to areas where their beauty and activities can be enjoyed. This hobby is a rewarding way to learn more about birds and other wildlife. The success of a bird_feeding station is determined by the time it is operated, the types of food offered, and the placement of feeders. The following information is meant to help you operate a feeding station that will attract a variety of birds. More information on bird_feeding and on bird identification can be found at your local library or bookstore.
Don't overcrowd an area with nest boxes. Most cavity_nesting birds defend territories, so don't overcrowd an area with nest boxes for a single species. Usually, nest boxes should be placed 50 feet or more apart. Swallows, however, will tolerate neighbors and will sometimes nest in “apartment” birdhouses. Build your nest box so that it is easily maintained: Construct the birdhouse with a roof or floor that can be easily removed so that you can reach inside to clean it. Maintain your nestboxes: Nest boxes should be cleaned out each spring and disinfected to prevent the spread of avian diseases. Be sure to dry the inside and (if necessary) add fresh, dry sawdust or woodchips.