For birds, birdhouses are home sweet home

Dad made birdhouses in woodshop

ESCANABA — There’s no place like home — truer words were never spoken!

Upper Michigan provides healthy homes for almost every living thing. All around the woodlands, shorelines and gardens houses are spring up

Birdhouses, duck nesting boxes, bat houses, bee houses and butterfly houses are making wildlife more welcomed than ever!

We all grew up with a birdhouse in the backyard.

Birdhouse building was often a project done at school or as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts or 4-H activities.

My Dad made quite a few birdhouses in his workshop over the years. Us kids always got to paint them.

It was an Escanaba tradition to load up the family in the sedan and cruise around Sand Point in Ludington Park to see the annual return of the purple martins.

For many decades out near the point stood a high rise birdhouse that called in many of these insect eating birds to reside by the Little Bay.

Birdhouses of many different sizes and styles enticed all kinds of birds from bluebirds and chick-a-dees to wrens and woodpeckers.

Small nesting platforms welcomed robins and phoebes. Large tree top or pole platform housed eagle or osprey nests.

Besides birdhouses, many new dwellings are available to install around your homestead to help out the wildlife.

Here are a few of my favorites: Bee houses are a newer invention that are available at most garden centers. Bee houses are painted red and feature dozens of little hollow tubes.

Mason bees seek out little cavities like these to lay their eggs in. The mason bees are great pollinators for our raspberry bushes. The busy little bees plug up the holes on the bee house with mud after their eggs are safely laid within.

Bat house – My husband made dozens of these years ago. At first I thought bat houses were ugly and who wanted creepy bats around anyway? After placing them at camp and around the mosquito infested swamps, I noticed a slight drop in the bug population.

Bat houses are painted black and need to be placed in a sunny location.

The latest addition to my critter house is a butterfly house that I received as gift this spring.

It is a bright cheery yellow color with little slot openings for the delicate wings of butterflies.

We placed on a post about three feet above the flower garden, slightly sheltered from the wind. In stormy or wet weather the little winged beauties should find shelter inside.

As we humans change and alter the world around us, it is good to try to preserve and enhance the natural native species in our area.

Besides helping out Mother Nature, watching the song birds and the butterflies in our own backyards can be one of the best parts of summertime.

Hang a few bird, bee, butterfly or bat house around your neck of the woods and welcome some of the best of the U.P.


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