Choosing Right Feeders
Bird Feeders: A Guide to Choosing and Using the Right Ones for Your Backyard Birds
Bird feeders are essential tools for attracting and nourishing a diverse array of birds in your backyard. They provide a convenient and reliable food source, especially during times when natural food may be scarce. To maximize the effectiveness of your bird feeders and create a bird-friendly environment, it's important to choose the right types of feeders and use them correctly. In this blog post, we will explore different bird feeder options and offer tips on how to use them effectively.
Tube feeders are versatile and suitable for attracting a wide range of bird species. They are typically long, cylindrical feeders with multiple feeding ports. Here's what you need to know:
a. Seed Selection: Fill tube feeders with a variety of seeds, such as black oil sunflower seeds, nyjer (thistle) seeds, or a seed mix. Adjust the seed type based on the birds you want to attract.
b. Feeder Placement: Hang tube feeders in a location that is easily accessible to birds while providing them with a safe vantage point to observe their surroundings.
c. Squirrel Protection: Consider using baffles or squirrel-proofing mechanisms to prevent squirrels from accessing the feeder and stealing the seeds.
Platform feeders, also known as tray or ground feeders, are open platforms that allow birds to feed directly on a flat surface. Here are some tips for using them effectively:
a. Seed Selection: Scatter a mix of seeds, cracked corn, or fruit on the platform. This feeder type is suitable for ground-feeding birds like sparrows, juncos, and doves.
b. Ground Placement: Place the platform feeder on the ground or elevate it slightly using a raised platform. Ensure it is in an open area, away from dense vegetation where predators may hide.
Suet feeders are designed to hold blocks or cakes of suet, a high-energy food made from animal fat. Follow these guidelines for using suet feeders effectively:
a. Suet Selection: Offer suet cakes containing seeds, nuts, or dried fruits to provide extra nutrition. You can purchase pre-made suet cakes or make your own using a suet recipe.
b. Feeder Placement: Hang suet feeders from tree branches or hooks, ensuring they are easily reachable by birds but away from predators like cats.
c. Seasonal Considerations: During hot weather, consider using suet feeders with cages or covers to prevent the suet from melting and becoming messy.
Hummingbird feeders are specifically designed to attract these tiny, nectar-loving birds. Follow these tips for attracting and feeding hummingbirds:
a. Nectar Solution: Fill the hummingbird feeder with a homemade nectar solution made of one part white granulated sugar dissolved in four parts water. Avoid using red food coloring or artificial sweeteners.
b. Feeder Placement: Hang the feeder in a shaded area, preferably near flowers or plants that hummingbirds find attractive. Keep the feeder clean and refill it with fresh nectar every few days.
c. Bee and Ant Prevention: Use ant moats and bee guards to prevent insects from accessing the nectar and discourage bees and ants from swarming the feeder.
Bird feeders are invaluable tools for attracting and nourishing a variety of bird species in your backyard. By selecting the right feeders and using them correctly, you can create a haven that entices birds to visit regularly. Remember to monitor the feeders, keep them clean, and refill them as needed to ensure a steady supply of food. Enjoy the rewarding experience of observing the beautiful birds as they gather around your thoughtfully chosen feeders.