Bird and bat droppings are some of the earliest fertility sources. What have you found to be the best way to attract their droppings to your property? I’ve noticed birds like to roost in my bamboo but I haven’t seen any large accumulations of droppings. Birds love my berries, but once again, I don’t see large accumulations of droppings. Just put up a small bat box and the birds seem to enjoy resting on top, but no bats yet. Pigeons seem like they might do the trick, but I only see them in cities. They next door neighbor just got purple martins after years of having gourds and houses up, so I might add some houses. What else should I do?
So my understanding for bats is a water source. They eat a lot of mosquitos so a water source is a sure fire food source for them. We have lots of bats, all over the place. Our bats are very small and don't seem to roost in the same manner as others. I will often find them near the ground and squeezed into the smallest places. How a bat got between our window and screen I will never know but that was an eventful evening trying to get it outside, we did, but it took a while.
For birds, I would suggest planting food sources for them and not doing a big fall cleanup of the yard. Those overwintering seed pods are excellent food sources for much wildlife.
Something I notice is that small birds like finches, juncos, and sparrows like to hang out in piles of pruned branches during the winter. I've not done it yet, but I plan on putting such piles of branches on garden plots during the winter to accumulate bird droppings on a small area. Not sure how effective it will be, but worth a try.
If you want a "collection" spot for bird droppings, the easiest thing I have found it to put a post in the ground with a cross member at the top for them to sit on. Hang a bird feeder somewhere for the same results.
When we first arrived in the Pyrenees (France) 15 years ago, we were astounded by the eerily quiet mornings and the absence of birds (and birdsong). Coming from the UK where the "dawn chorus" was loud and cacophonous, we were sadly missing the noise that we sometimes cursed at 5.00am on a summer morning!
What we did, was very simple: we planted, and planted! Trees, shrubs, herbs, flowers etc. Basically, we created a dense eco-system that attracted the bugs, which in turn attracted the birds and the bats. Water is also a must, so even if you can't have a pond, have a bird bath, not only birds need to drink but they love a bath! I am of course talking about small birds here like the tits, robins, blackbirds, wag tail, etc. We had some sacrificial berry shrubs, mostly Aronia and Cornus mas which are not our favorite, and left some areas to go as a wild meadow. We left some tufts of dog's hair lying around which they love to take to build a nest. We did leave some seeds in a feeder in the winter, but they soon worked out that there was food to be had amongst the chickens.
It took about 4 to 5 years to go from a barren sky and utter silence (apart from the cry of the buzzards) to the joyful sound of bird song.
In fact, we were so successful that one year, we had an interesting thing happen. Although our valley was full of swallows and house martins, we never saw them at our place because of our altitude. One late September, while finishing a bit of fencing, I heard a strange sound and as I looked up, I saw hundreds and hundreds of swallows turning, round and round and swirling and diving at great speed above our property. It was the most extraordinary thing to witness. They carried on for about an hour in a frenzy of feeding and in one movement, departed on their long migratory journey. They left just as abruptly as they came and for one hour we had a spectacle worth every penny.
So, we ended up up with many, many birds, we even had a rare black woodpecker visiting us and one night we woke up with 3 bats flying around in our bedroom, but as many birds as we had, we never noticed that much bird shit. The only bird shit we have in quantity is chicken's and duck's!!
Love is the only resource that grows the more you use it.
I have lots of birds of all types in my garden and i really only notice droppings accumulating when there is a nest, and even then it's not too much. I also have hummingbirds and bats that use feeders literally whenever they are full and i have seen zero droppings underneath (even though I often do see hummingbirds poop- i think the quantities are just tiny). I get my fertility from other sources (bokashi, rabbits, swamp water, comfrey tea) and appreciate the birds for other services they provide (bug hunting, songs, nice to look at, etc).
I have found that leaving eggs shells out in the open in my garden really attracts swallows who nibble on them and carry pieces
aloft and drop them sometimes catching them again in mid air as they fall. Birds often crap when the take off after sitting so I
always provide lots of nice perches for them like stakes and tomato cages.
Hedgerows along any fence-lines possible. Dead-hedge and other similar fences make excellent bird habitat. I’ve found many native trees (cascara, alder, chokecherry) and edible trees growing from such fences where protected birds deposited the seeds they’d gathered. Brambles and thorny plants, living or dead, make it more protective and attractive to birds.
Feeding at appropriate times, ideally with plants and abundant diverse wild insects in the landscape rather than feeders. Spring and summer feeding of seeds can deter young birds from learning the naturally abundant wild and garden grown seeds. When I have fed birds to seemingly good effect is putting out steeped barley that was too old to brew with on my compost pile and dormant garden when snow is on the ground. Diverse and numerous hungry birds came to feed, and they often evacuate their bowels when landing and taking off. I also have spread bird seed when establishing recently disturbed ground with mostly dead dirt. Birds will introduce a small amount of fertility, and more importantly, diverse microbiota.
Water’s importance bears repeating. As does shelter. It’s all about diverse and abundant habitat.
This is all just my opinion based on a flawed memory
Ben, you are absolutely right, hedgerows are vital. I guess this is why there are so many birds in the UK - there are so many hedgerows. Unfortunately like everything else, in danger of disappearing.
My observation over the years is that the over-driving force for human or wild life is food and water. Pioneers in any continent settled where the land could provide abundance - good land, good hunting and water. Grazers will search and gather for the best grass, and water nearby will afford them survival. This in turn will attract the predators in search of a good meal, which in turn will attract any numbers of scavengers. Every creature on the planet is in a constant search for food and at one time or another, will either eat or be eaten by one. Hence the birds will gather where food is available. The more the food, the greater the numbers of birds.
Man or beast with a full belly is quite capable of building or finding a shelter in order to fulfil the next over-driving force - procreation.
In urban areas however, bird feeders and man made shelters might be a necessity in order to give a helping hand, as the danger might not be their lack of learning to fend for themselves, but rather starvation and disappearance.
Love is the only resource that grows the more you use it.