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Bird Feeders in the Garden

When fall is upon us and winter is just around the corner, the birds will be looking for food. Adding birdfeeders, as well as water, shelter and raw nesting materials to your yard will create an inviting bird habitat. Place your feeder in a quiet place where you can see and enjoy the birds from inside. Make sure your feeders are convenient to access so you can refill and clean them. This should be done twice a season to prevent the spread of disease. Only put out as many feeders as you can properly care for and use a variety of foods to attract different kinds of birds. Refrain from using pesticides in your yard to kill insects; it will make your yard less attractive to birds because birds like insects too!

The most popular bird food is black oiled sunflower seeds. Most all feeders will accommodate this food. Sunflower seeds are a good choice if you are trying to attract a variety of birds with one feeder because almost all birds will eat them. The shell is easy to crack and the nut is larger than a regular sunflower seed. Some of the birds that enjoy eating black oiled sunflower seeds include Chickadees, Titmouse and Purple finches, Buntings, Towhees, Blue jays, Nuthatches and Cardinals.

Safflower seeds are probably the second favorite food choice for many birds. It can go in any general mix feeder. Most birds that like black oiled sunflower seeds will also like safflower seed, especially Nuthatch and Northern cardinal.

Niger or thistle seed is the preferred food for small finches. The seed is small so you need a specialty thistle feeder to accommodate this food.

Suet or beef kidney fat is high in calories and can be found in different flavors. It provides the energy birds need for the winter, although it can be fed year round if you use commercially prepared suet cakes and place it in the shade in the summer. There are several different kinds of feeders designed to hold suet. Birds that eat suet include woodpeckers, nuthatch, warblers, creepers, wrens, chickadees, titmouse, and Grosbeck.


 Tube shaped peanut feeders are becoming very popular. Many birds will visit for a quick high protein high-energy meal. Birds that eat peanuts include: Woodpeckers, Blue jays, Nuthatches, Chickadees and Titmouse.

Fruit is a real treat for birds in the winter. There are birdfeeders that hold fruit like grapes, citrus, apples and bananas. Birds that enjoy fruit include: Orioles, Bluebirds, Thrashers, Thrushes, Catbirds, Mockingbirds, Warblers, Robins and Tanagers.

Feeding birds is a great family hobby and will bring hours of enjoyment to time spent at home!

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