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In Celebration of Be Kind to Animals Week - How to be a Gracious Host for the Animals, Part 1 of 3

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Be Kind to Animals Week has been observed in the first full week of May every year since 1973. Although it started in the US, this is a celebration of compassion that all of humanity can participate in. In honor of Be Kind to Animals Week, we start this three-part series of shows by exploring ways to make your home inviting and accommodating for wildlife of the air, specifically birds.

Many human friends have a front yard and backyard or even a balcony which can serve as a small sanctuary for our feathered friends. Birds may be attracted to a garden or porch by offerings of food. Just as a guest comes into your home and you may offer him some tea and vegan biscuits, offering some food is a lovely way to make friends with local birds. “It’s a profoundly important thing for some people. It’s a way of connecting with nature in a truly simple way.”

But it is important to remember that to be a gracious host involves feeding responsibly. The key is to research what type of food is beneficial for these winged friends so that you are helping to keep them healthy. For most birds, a round, flat dish such as the kind usually found at the bottom of a pot plant makes a great serving platter. And it’s important to remember that the food you provide is intended to be a snack – so please don’t feed too much.

Birds such as woodpeckers, chickadees, yellow-rumpled warblers, wrens and more love eating a certain specialty… vegan suet! Vegan suet may be made from organic, non-genetically modified ingredients such as millet, peanut butter, and raisins.

Hummingbirds are attracted to gardens that have trumpet-shaped or tubular flowers in vibrant colors such as red, orange, blue and yellow, and blossoms that contain a lot of nectar.Many people take delight in feeding hummingbirds via purpose-built feeders. The United States-based Hummingbird Society gives a recipe calling for 200 grams (1 cup) of white cane sugar, and 710 or 950 milliliters (3 or 4 cups) of spring water. It’s important to note that the sugar used needs to be white cane sugar.

As any great host knows, the other part of serving food to friends at gatherings is the clean-up! Cleaning bird feeders is essential for bird health, so please pay close attention to how to do it best.

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