Building backyards for birds

By Jay January/reporter

Bird enthusiasts learned how to attract the flying creatures to their backyards as well as the benefits for doing so from a speaker who takes care of the birds on NE Campus. 

NE kinesiology professor Tim Sebesta presented advice and tips to students and community members. 

For most people, the animals are beautiful, manage pest control and can also help with mental health by helping relieve stress, Sebesta said. These are only a number of reasons for why people choose to keep birds in their backyard.

“It all boils down to food, water, and shelter if you want to provide a yard that’s going to bring in birds,” he said.

One of the worst things is to throw food on the ground to feed the birds, Sebesta said, adding it’s better to use bird feeders because birds spread bacteria eating off of the ground. A lot of people throw out bread crumbs but that has no nutritional value for birds.

Texas is home to hundreds of different types of birds, and there are many that eat the same food as the ones Sebesta feeds on NE. Merlin Bird ID and other bird apps can help identify birds and tell people what foods will attract them, Sebesta said. 

North Richland Hills resident Julie Brooks attended the event because of her affinity for birds.

“I want birds in my backyard because they’re pretty and fun to watch,” Brooks said.

NE student Lingchia Tsai found the information at the event to be helpful.

“I came here to see how I can improve my backyard because I like to feed the wildlife,” Tsai said. “I have bird feeders and a bird bath, and this has helped me think of ways to make it better for the wildlife in my yard.”