Watching and feeding birds provides enjoyment to millions of Americans. The company that they bring when you’re feeding them is incomparable. It’s also relatively easy to attract birds to visit your backyard and feed them.
However, you can unknowingly make simple mistakes, especially if you’re a novice birder. Such overlooked mistakes cannot only keep your feathered friends from enjoying the feeders, but they can also endanger or drive them away.
Your generosity and fascination toward birds by feeding them can help sustain their population. In fact, there are several benefits of bird feeding you can also enjoy, provided that you’re doing it the right way. Read through this article and learn the proper ways to feed your backyard birds.
Offer A Variety of Food
Birds have different dietary needs and preferences. Most of them may have diets that are quite monotonous. Even so, the nutritional requirements of birds don’t vary much from ours. They also need protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
Understanding what the birds eat is essential to attract them to your backyard and, more importantly, for their health, lifespan, appearance, and good behavior. It may take some time and research to provide the right food and nutrition for every bird in your backyard, but offering them a variety of food is a good start.
Here are some of the common bird foods you can consider.
Seeds are the most common bird food for feeding birds. But note that birds have different preferences on seeds. Sunflower is the seed that attracts different types of birds and the most mainstay for most backyard bird feeders. Other varieties of seed can also help but avoid mixtures containing red millets, oats, and fillers as they are not attractive to most birds.
Besides hummingbirds, many birds are drawn to flower nectar and the sugary running sap of trees. You can buy nectar or make it yourself. But be warned that using any sweeter other than plain white sugar to make nectar can be harmful. It might also be more appropriate to purchase nectar commercially if you want to balance its nutrients for the birds’ health.
Kitchen scraps, such as baked goods, cheese, meat, and vegetables, can also be a part of your backyard birds’ diets as long as they are used wisely and sparingly. Scraps provide a great variety of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. But they are only good in limited quantities. Therefore, never use them as a substitute for regular birdseed.
Natural Bird Food Resources
Feeding birds doesn’t necessarily mean spending your money on expensive seeds. Natural foods, like flowers, trees, shrubs, and insects are the most nutritious, easiest, and economical resources to feed your backyard birds.
Choose The Right Bird Feeder
Understanding how birds eat is also significant. They have different preferences when it comes to feeder styles. You’ll find that some birds are more likely to use one kind of feeder over another.
Bird feeders are essential equipment to have in your backyard to keep your feathered friends well-fed, and here’s a rundown of its main types:
- Window Feeders– are a great way to view the birds in your backyard up close.
- Platform Feeders– is best suited to birds that are mostly eating fruits.
- Suet Feeders– are square wire cages that are specifically designed for feeding suet.
- Tube Feeders– designed with short perches and suitable if you’re feeding small birds.
- Hopper Feeders– can hold different types of seeds and suits small and large birds.
- Thistle Feeders- are most appropriate to feed small finches and other clinging birds.
Note that there is no one-size-fits-all bird feeder. But the ideal one must be solid enough to withstand winter weather, firm enough to keep seeds, easy to assemble and maintain. If you want to learn more about this, you can visit websites like birdinformer.com bird feeders. They have resources that may be helpful for bird-feeding.
Set Up Feeder On The Right Location
Another important thing you need to be mindful of when feeding birds is the location of the feeders. Can you see the feeder well? Is it set up in a safe location? It’s often recommended to locate the bird feeder next to a window in a room you’re frequently in. However, you have to make sure that it is safe from window collisions and predators.
You can set up the feeder within three feet of a nearby window to prevent birds from accidentally bumping into it. As much as possible, feeders should be close to the birds’ natural habitat, such as trees or shrubs, to give them resting places between feeding bouts. Make sure also that the location protects the feeder from high winds.
Provide Enough Water
Birds need water as much as they need food. Besides quenching their thirst and rehydrating, birds need water to clean their feathers and remove parasites. Thus, make sure to provide enough water for the birds. Remember that not every bird will need the food you give them, but they all need water, especially during the summer months.
Refill Feeders More Promptly
Keeping feeders filled is a vital part of feeding your backyard birds. You cannot specifically determine how often feeders should be refilled. Depending on several factors, it can go empty in a day or just a few hours. But it is always best to refill feeders right away. Remember that birds won’t usually return to an unreliable food source.
Protect The Bird Feeders
Bird feeders entail some responsibility. Many other forms of wildlife will attack feeders before birds can even get a chance to feed themselves. Make sure to protect the feeders to prevent the birds from being exposed to their predators. Feeders can also easily attract pests. Thus, see to it that they are always cleaned and don’t become a source of disease.
Feeding birds isn’t just about providing them with birdseed or any scraps you can get from your kitchen. Birds are an essential form of life, and it’s always important to consider their health and safety as well. Remember that bird feeding is most beneficial when birds need the most energy. Make sure to feed them the right way.
Donald’s passion for bird-watching has continued to grow, and he shares his new hobby with his wife. They have created a haven for birds in their yard and often spend weekends hiking in nature looking for their favorite and more elusive birds. He shares his excitement through blogs and photos, and often creates content for various websites to spread the word about conservation, as well as tips and tricks to get the most out of this fun hobby!