“Let us fill our hearts with our own compassion – towards ourselves and towards all living beings.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh
Brush piles are a creative and natural way to re-purpose the tree clippings and trimmings in your yard, “without adding them to landfills. The first thing to check before you begin building a brush pile,” according to the National Gardening Association, “is to see if your municipality or homeowners association has any restrictions or requirements that you need to take into account.
“The next consideration is determining the best location for your brush pile. You’ll want to place it where you can observe it on a regular basis without disturbing the activity you are encouraging. You will also want to think about your neighbors. Don’t place the pile in an area that will detract from their enjoyment of their yard or be an eyesore for passersby. Some planning and proper preparation will result in a pile that provides a more attractive habitat for wildlife and looks more presentable to your neighbors.”
How do your birds benefit from a brush pile?
This natural habitat provides a sheltered location, where birds can:
- Seek shelter from predators
- Seek shelter from cold, wet and icy weather
- Access a quick hideaway area when larger birds are nearby
- Find suitable nesting areas, in particular for ground-feeding birds
- Rely on all-inclusive habitat to support the local ecosystem, including insects to provide insect-eating birds with essential protein during breeding season
Whether you’re adding onto an existing brush pile, starting a new brush pile in a separate area of your yard or starting your brush pile from scratch, having a sturdy base is key. “The size of your brush pile will depend on how much space you have,” according to the National Gardening Association, “and how much material you have for pile construction. On smaller properties or those with limited materials, a pile five to six feet in diameter may be the best fit. If you have the space, an ideal pile is about 10 to 15 wide and 10 to 25 feet long. Most piles will be about five to six feet high. If you have lots of space you might want multiple piles spaced 200 to 300 feet apart. If possible, place least half the piles in full sunlight to allow a place for the inhabitants to bask in the sun.”
“If aesthetics are a concern in a small habitat garden, planting a not-so-aggressive flowering native vine to grow over your brush limbs will add color and nectar for pollinators,” according to Choose Natives: Plant for Life. “Check with your regional Native Plant Society for options for your area.”
If you’re limited on tree clippings or other material to build your own brush pile, then use our 4737 Safe Haven Wonderland Feeder, available exclusively at duncraft.com. There are two heavy duty clips on top, allowing you to fasten branches securely in place as the start of your own customized brush pile.
Built to last and great for year-round use, our Safe Haven platform feeder has two feeding trays to provide easy feeding for your birds, while also providing a quick hideaway as needed. The bottom tray slides right out for easy filling, which provides an opportunity for your birds to eat safely within a sheltered feeding area and away from larger birds.
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” ― Aesop
Read “Help Birds with a Brush Pile” on the Duncraft Wild Bird Blog for more information.
SOURCES AND INTERESTING LINKS:
“Create a Backyard Wildlife Habitat Brush Pile,” The Wildlife Center of Virginia. Dec. 7, 2018. <https://www.wildlifecenter.org/sites/default/files/PDFs/backyard/A%20Wildlife%20Habitat%20Brushpile.pdf>.
“The Brush Pile: Build it for Our Wild Friends,” Choose Natives: Plant for Life. 2018. Dec. 7, 2018. <http://choosenatives.org/brush-pile-build-wild-friends/>.
“Inspirational Quotes,” Brainy Quote. 2018. Dec. 7, 2018. <https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/inspirational>.
“Provide Bird Shelter with a Brush Pile,” Steve Trusty. Learning Library, The National Gardening Association. Dec. 7, 2018. <https://garden.org/learn/articles/view/3897/>.
“Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes,” Brainy Quote. 2018. Dec. 7, 2018. <https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/thich_nhat_hanh>.
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