Richard and Diane Van Vleck Personal Pages
The Home Habitat
Vegetable gardens attract insects and insects attract songbirds. Often, what are missing in the garden are proper hunting perches. Cement reinforcing wire rolled into 24" circles make an ideal tomato cage both to support the plant and offer unlimited perches. The 6" openings allow birds to perch all around the plant and at any height. Early evening seems to bring the greatest variety of species to the garden at one time. The photos below were taken from the trailer blind on two evenings. Among the species that frequent the tomato cages were a bluegray gnatcatcher, a female yellow warbler, brown thrashers, bluebirds, bluejays, barn swallows, kingbirds, cardinals, house wrens, chipping sparrows and phoebes. Today, Jan 2014, I realized that I had neglected to take down the tomato cages this fall and store them in the swallow room. The deer finally drew my attention to this.
The cement reinforcing wire is expensive, but will last for many years, especially if stored inside when not in use. I use two small fence stakes to hold the cages in place, weaving the stakes between several of the horizontal wires.
One obvious note of caution - if you plan to attract birds to your garden to dine on insects, don't poison the insects first.
|barn owl||American kestrel||purple martin||barn swallow||Eastern bluebird|
|tufted titmouse||Eastern phoebe||yellow shafted flicker||tree swallow||chimney swift|
|house wren||big brown bat||Carolina wren||brown thrasher||catbird|
|cedar waxwing||Northern mockingbird|
|Yellow warbler||Acadian flycatcher|
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