Spring is the time for backyard bird lovers to prepare for visitors

Despite the cool, windy weather we’ve had, it’s finally April and we’re seeing signs of spring appearing everywhere. Along with the blooming daffodils and hyacinths, things are getting greener and our local wildlife is on the move.

For backyard bird enthusiasts, our migratory population is beginning to reappear and nesting preparations have already begun with some of our feathered friends.

Bluebirds start nesting in our area as early as late March, so watch your boxes for increased activity. On that note, although Bluebirds do not eat seeds, they are big fans of mealworms. If you want to encourage and support these beautiful birds, you may want to set up a dried mealworm feeder for them. There are cake type feeders as well as tube feeders for loose mealworms available at most stores or sites that sell wild bird supplies.

Unfortunately, the price of mealworms has really gone up this year (like everything else!); a 20 ounce bag would normally cost between $18 and $20, but I had to buy a bag last week and it was almost $27! Information is available online on growing your own live mealworms…yeah…no, not for me! I’m a little put off by the secs, surely I don’t want to deal with wriggling live ones, but I’m sure the birds would appreciate it if you’re so inclined!

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If you have the right habitat, you may also have noticed the Eastern Phoebes are back. I noticed them about three weeks ago and was hoping there were enough bugs for them to support themselves. These birds are another favorite of mine because not only are they insatiable insect eaters, but they are also songbirds that are not shy and seem rather curious about human and animal activity in my yard.

Finally, it’s also the return of the Hummingbirds! The males will start arriving in the middle of the month and will be followed soon after by the females. There are very few flowers blooming at the time of their arrival and they will be very exhausted after their journey from Mexico.

Be sure to get your feeders out by next week so they have something to eat when they get here. Providing them with an early food supply may also encourage them to nest nearby. It’s also a good time to plan your garden to include flowers that attract hummingbirds; salvia, lemon balm and most plants that attract pollinators are ideal for these little birds.

Shelter needs: Canned dog and cat food, dry cat food (no dyes please), dog treats, peanut butter, twin blankets/comforters, paper towels, liquid hand soap and gift cards for pets and groceries.

Fundraising for the shelter: Step for a Pet will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 24 at Parvin State Park. Attendees are encouraged to stroll through the park to raise funds for the shelter’s homeless pets, shop at local vendors, and enjoy music and giveaways. Participants and sponsors are needed. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/34dMJiu.

Address of the shelter: 1244 N. Delsea Drive in Vineland.

For more information on foster care, visit https://southjerseyregionalanimalshelter.org/volunteer_main/foster.

To submit an adoption form for one of the Pets of the Week or another animal at the shelter, visit https://southjerseyregionalanimalshelter.org/forms/adoption-questionnaire.

To volunteer, email the Volunteer Coordinator at [email protected]

For more information about SJRAS, call (856) 691-1500 or visit southjerseyregionalanimalshelter.org or SJRASVineland on Facebook.



Bear is a beautiful 6 year old German Shepherd. He’s a big friendly guy with lots of love to give.

Juno is an adorable 3 year old pit bull terrier. She’s a bit shy in new situations and with new people, but once she gets to know you, she’s bubbly, restless, and happy.

Ralph is a beautiful 3 year old pit bull terrier, waiting and hoping for a forever home.

bowl is a very sweet 4 year old pit bull terrier and boxer mix. He is a super nice and restless boy who loves everyone. Billy came to the shelter as a very skinny stray. He is a true lover who will melt your heart.

Molly is a fun and friendly 5 year old pit bull terrier. She’s a smart, lively girl with so much love to give.

pony boy is a one-year-old raw breed. He is a happy, spirited and full of energy puppy. Pony Boy is also deaf. Deaf dogs can make wonderful pets that can learn to respond to hand signals. Google Deaf Dog Education Action Fund for information on sharing your happy life with a deaf dog.

Whitney is a sweet and pretty 6 year old pit mix. She is friendly, well mannered and has a fun and curious personality. Whitney is also deaf. Google Deaf Dog Education Fund for information on happily sharing your life with a deaf dog. This sweet girl is waiting and hoping for a loving forever home.



Niblet, a 2-year-old beauty, arrived at the shelter at the end of December after her human fell very ill and could no longer take care of her. Since then, she has been patiently waiting to find her forever at home. She’s very affectionate, but not in your face. She is content to sit next to you and have lots of pets. She’s in foster care and ready to meet her humans forever.

happy will be a much happier cat when he finds a forever home!

Oreo McFlurry? Who wouldn’t love to have a cat named after two tasty treats?

Lighting is a bit shy, but very sweet. His owner released him because she had too many cats.

Flora is a pretty young girl, who would like to be your best friend.

gigi is a beautiful girl who is looking for her forever home.

Hash browns waits for someone to see how pretty she is and include her in their family.

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