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Want to know something I never thought I'd be excited about? Feeding birds.
Up until earlier this year, I had pretty much zero want to do anything with birds that weren't exotic and basically reminded me I was on vacation. Then we bought a house surrounded by trees and nature and it's like I'm a kid in a candy store – I cannot get enough. I'm excited for Spring to finally roll around here so we can expand on the solo bird feeder we currently have, but we've already attracted tons of different birds. Chickadees, cardinals, bluejays, woodpeckers, sparrows and I think one or two others that I haven't figured out yet. We've also attracted some bunnies and a river otter (CRAZY!), but no deer yet.
If you're looking to feed the birds around your house, here are five tips to get you started:
- Never stop feeding them, especially if your area is prone to birds that stick around for the colder months. While bird feeders aren't the only source of food for most birds, they are a great supplemental source of food when weather or other factors prevent birds from finding their next meal in the ground or from plants. This may mean larger capacity feeders, feeding during the Winter months, or even asking a friend to refill a small capacity feeder while you're away.
- Use posts or poles for your bird feeders instead of trees to prevent squirrels from snatching up all the food. You can also add upside down cones to poles and posts as another protectant.
- Different feeders attract different types of birds. Feeders that have smaller perches, or even no perches, discourage larger birds from accessing the food. Smaller birds that are more agile are more likely to be able to eat from these feeders.
- Different food attracts different bird. Not all bird food is made alike and it's important to know what type of birds you'd like to attract before you buy a random bag of bird seed. You'll need a very different food source if you're trying to attract a hummingbird versus a cardinal. Before you start trying to attract a specific type of bird, be sure to research what bird species live near you.
- When deciding on where to feed them, try to find a place that's in the sun. Even better if it's out of the wind and weather or even covered. If you're placing it near your home, try to place it within three feet of your house/window. Birds departing from the feeder are less likely to be going full-speed within this distance which means there is less of a chance of a fatal window collision.
I'd love to hear any other tips you may have for feeding birds!
what types of birds do you have that live near you?