Our farm is a paradise for birds, domesticated and wild. Farming without chemicals provides a safe habitat for birds to find abundant food and raise their families. Many of you have noticed that we have a lot of bird houses around the farm. Early this year I gave our children a challenge: I would provide the materials to make bird houses, and for every bird house that had a bird nest in it I would give them a dollar. It was a success! Many of our bird houses had bird families living in them.
The birds are important to us for a number of reasons. Our family enjoys watching birds. The birds pay their rent by eating tens of thousands of flies, mosquitoes, and other insects. We noticed a significant decrease in flies and mosquitoes this year even though it was a wetter year than last year.
Last evening we were sitting on the back porch with some friends from Laurel. He wondered if we sprayed something to control the mosquitoes because there were so few of them. I said no, it is our bird and bat friends that provide the control.
A more financially significant reason the wild birds are important to us is that the barn swallows and tree swallows chase the hawks away from the chickens during the summer. We can tell when the swallows migrate south in the fall. We start seeing hawks circling overhead looking for a delicious, pasture raised chicken dinner.
Yes, our farm is for the birds. By inviting many species of birds (except the hawks and owls!), it makes a more enjoyable home for all the birds, both domestic and wild. And it makes a more enjoyable place for you and us as well.