Birds are the most active during the spring season, and birds need nutrition. What most people do not know is that birds prefer different types of bird feed. Maintaining and taking care of your bird feed station will keep local wildlife happy and returning to your feeder for years to come. We have included a few tips and tricks to attract a more diverse wild bird selection to your property this spring.
Attracting Wild Birds with Bird Feed
1.) Place bird feeders at different heights
To avoid crowding and to attract the widest variety of wild birds, place bird feed stations at different heights around the property. This prevents crowding at feeders. Feeders in quiet areas will attract more birds than bird feeders that are in loud areas. Birds will also not visit a feeder located in an unsafe area.
2.) Provide more than one type of bird feed
Each species of bird has a food preference, and it is important to have a variety of bird feed on hand to attract a variety of wild birds. Safflower is a favorite of house finches. Thistle seed is a favorite of the mourning dove and goldfinches. Blue jays, cardinals, and wood peckers love striped sunflower seed.
3.) Make a mixture of peanut butter and corn meal
While this solution is best for colder months it is worth noting that a great source of nourishments for wild birds is a bird feed mixture of peanut butter and corn meal. Peanut butter is high in protein and fat, while corn meal is a wonderful binder that adds texture to the peanut butter. The added texture allows wild birds to easily eat the peanut butter and get additional nutrition. Wild birds are typically able to find ample food in the warmer months of the year.
4.) Provide fruit
Feeding wild birds with fruit is a great way to attract birds that do not visit a feeder. Fruit can be displayed on a platform or may be added into a wire mesh fruit feeder. Orange slices, nectar, and grape jelly are great ideas for bird feed for attracting catbirds, robins, bluebirds, and mockingbirds.
5.) Display bird feed in metal containers
Plastic bird feed containers offer a good value and are durable. However, squirrels can easily tamper with a plastic bird feeder. It is suggested to use a metal container for bird feed to eliminate the possibility of squirrels or other wildlife tampering with the bird feeder.
6.) Put bird feed far away from squirrel food
It is sometimes not enough to just locate bird feeders far away from windows. Squirrels are eager to tamper with bird feeders for ease of locating food. One solution to this is to attach the bird feeder to a string apparatus wrapped around a large tree trunk. The bird feeder can be adjusted as squirrels attempt to tamper with the container. Another solution to this issue is to provide squirrels with squirrel food. If you can’t beat them, feed them!
7.) Place containers three feet away from windows
Birds have a difficult time seeing glass, so it is imperative that bird feeders are located at a minimum of 10 feet from windows. Light windows can be disorienting to birds and are even difficult to see when reflections are minimal. Birds can suffer from internal hemorrhaging and brain swelling that can be fatal. Birds that are injured may not be able to properly defend themselves against prey. Keep blinds and window coverings located close to windows to minimize the risk of glare.
8.) Clean feeders and control mess
Cleaning feeders will keep additional wildlife animals away from your feeder. Soak bird feeders in a bleach solution or soap and boiling water. Rinse the bird feeder thoroughly and allow the bird feeder to dry before refilling.
9.) Provide feed for hummingbirds
Hummingbirds feed on sugar water because the high amount of sucrose in nectar provides energy for a high metabolism and energetic lives. Hummingbirds do not typically drink water from other sources so this is also a great source of water. Although nectar does not provide protein to birds, it provides the essential ingredients for the energy to supply a healthy life cycle.
10.) Keep feeders clean
Bird feed stations can quickly become a place that wild birds avoid if they are not kept clean. A dirty feeder can breed bacteria, disease, and mold. Bird droppings can infect other birds and spread infectious diseases. Infected birds run the risk of infecting other birds and eliminating parts of the wild bird population. Check feeders every two days for maintenance and be sure to clean the ground around the feeder.