Wild Bird Feeding Tips

Introduction:As the weather turns colder (in some parts of the country), many of us look for ways to help out the birds that visit our yards. Here are a few tips for feeding your avian visitors.

  • 01

    Start With a Small Feeder

    Until you know how popular your bird "dining establishment" will be, keep your feeding station to a small, manageable size. Remember, you're going to be filling the feeder as often as every day. Starting small will be a good way to find out if you have the dedication and finances to continue your commitment.

  • 02

    Place Your Feeder Sensibly

    If your motivation for feeding the birds is watching them, situate your feeder where you can see it from a window. Keep in mind, though, that seed spilled on the ground (an inevitability) will attract other critters such as squirrels, mice, and possibly rats. So, you'll want to keep the feeder far enough from the house to discourage them from entering your home. Also consider the potential for having to tramp through snow to fill the feeder.

  • 03

    Use Fresh Seed

    Seed contains oil and may become rancid over time. Purchase your bags of seed from a store with high turnover to ensure your seed is fresh.

  • 04

    Store Seed In Well Sealed Container

    As mentioned earlier, mice like seed. Use a tight sealing chew-proof container to make certain your garage or porch doesn't become the neighborhood's most popular rodent restaurant.

  • 05

    Expand Your Options

    Consider adding a thistle (nyjer) seed feeder to attract finches and chickadees. Or, add a suet feeder in winter for woodpeckers and nuthatches. A birdbath with a water heater to keep it from freezing will be welcomed by your feathered friends, as well.





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Comments

  • goodselfme 11/21/2010 Flag This Comment

    Thank you for your wisdom about wild bird feeding. I learned a lot from your details. Tweeted.

  • caper 10/21/2010 Flag This Comment

    Really good tips! Wish I had read this before the squirrels ate through the plastic can the seed was in!

  • ListMaker 10/19/2010 Flag This Comment

    One other quick warning: birds will become dependent upon your seed so, if you start feeding them early in the season (and possibly hamper their migration by sticking around) you are obligated to keep feeding them through the winter. It's only fair.

  • megboxx 10/18/2010 Flag This Comment

    Great list, i'll have to try these at home. Thanks

  • bossypants 10/16/2010 Flag This Comment

    Thanks for the additional infromation and warnings! And thanks for reading and commenting.

  • JoyceTeresaMann 10/16/2010 Flag This Comment

    Great list. A word of warning: If you have an indoor-outdoor cat as I do, it is not fair to the birds to feed them at all. We learned the hard way.

  • dlcass 10/16/2010 Flag This Comment

    These are great tips Bossy. People don't realize how important clean, fresh seed is.

    One word of advice, don't ever use seed mixes with millet in them. Millet attracts Brown-Headed Cowbirds, which parasitize other birds nests. When we switched to all Black-Oil Sunflower seeds, the cowbirds disappeared.

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