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Archive for November, 2010

Bringing in Wild Birds – Getting More Out of Your Home Bird Feeders

We are often asked “How do We put up my decorative bird feeders to attract the largest amounts of birds to my backyard?” To reply to this a person must take into account that there are three varieties of birds in regards to the foods they eat. These include the birds who eat seeds, insect eaters and fruit and nectar eaters. Within such groups there is lots of overlap. As an example, Chipping Sparrows visit seed feeders in the winter months but eat insects all summer. Meadowlarks consume bugs all summer and eat seeds in the winter. Cedar Waxwings are mostly fresh fruit eaters but feed their young insects and berries. Make sure you provide food for those three groups to obtain the most species possible to your own feeders and yard.

Many people who are new to birding start out wishing to attract the seed eaters. You can do this with a variety of commercially available wild bird seed mixes plus some specialty seeds. Among seed eaters you’ll discover three basic feeding styles. They are the clingers, the perching birds as well as scratchers. No one kind of wild bird bird feeders is designed to accommodate all three types.

The clinging birds include many of the most sought after backyard birds in the country. They include the House Finches, woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches and goldfinches, Pine Siskins, Redpolls, Purple Finches, and Cassin’s Finches.

In the wild these birds will cling to the top to a flower or grass head and glean the seeds from a seed head. These birds might be best accommodated with special bird feeders such as shelled peanut bird feeders that allow the birds to cling directly to the side of a feeder in place of using a perch. These special bird feeders are available for dispensing thistle or Nyjer seed to the finches and black oil sunflower or peanuts for your other small clingers.

The perching birds include species including the cardinals, buntings, many native sparrows, English Sparrows, jays, grosbeaks and most blackbirds. These birds will be able to perch at hopper feeders or tube bird feeders with perches. In the wild these birds feed up off the ground, but perch in an upright manner while they feed.

The scratching birds are birds like the quail, doves, towhees, juncos, White-crowned Sparrows, thrashers as well as others who normally feed by scratching in the leaves or on a lawn for the seeds they eat. Platform type wild bird bird feeders work best for these birds since they accommodate their scratching instinct and present a much more comfortable feeding environment for them.

Insect eating birds were definitely a little trickier to attract up until recently. However, modern innovations are making it possible to attract them to your yard utilizing artificial food sources. Some of these birds enjoy suet for example nuthatches, chickadees, woodpeckers, wrens plus more. Several commercial companies even make a suet cake with dehydrated or freeze dried insects embedded inside the suet to attract insect eating birds. Specialized wild bird bird feeders say for example a bluebird bird feeders may be used to attract insect eaters by feeding live mealworms or other live insects. Peanut butter will also attract a variety of insectivorous birds which include wrens, thrashers, chickadees, woodpeckers, titmice, warblers, bluebirds, towhees, White-crowned Sparrows and juncos.

The fruit eaters, much like the insect eaters are trickier to draw. They enjoy berries, orange halves and various other fruits. However, we have now found several the best way to cater to these birds. We provide orange halves with the pegs in our recycled oriole feeders. This attracts orioles, catbirds, mockingbirds and thrashers. We have also used melon fruit and set it on pegs much like the oranges or perhaps in suet baskets. This attracts similar birds as oranges in addition to tanagers. Jays also certainly appreciate the melon fruit. Raisins have been known to attract robins, thrashers, waxwings, catbirds besides other species. The suet companies have even produced a suet cake with berries and fruit included to attract the fruit eaters. Each one of these work to varying degrees, but the real bird magnet for fruit eaters is grape jelly! We provide this delicacy in the recycled oriole feeder and there’s a steady line of birds to this particular food. Nectar eaters include the hummingbirds, orioles and several woodpeckers. a super easy mix of one part ordinary sugar to four parts water using a good hummingbird feeder will satisfy these birds.

Utilizing this type of information at your fingertips I would recommend these particular bird feeders to accomplish the goal of the attracting essentially the most birds species possible:

  • A recycled oriole feeder having two pegs for fruits and 2 bowls, one for grape jelly and a second for peanut butter. A second feeder of that type could be employed to present melon fruit on the pegs and mealworms and raisins in the cups.
  • A nectar bird feeders. Make certain it is very simple to completely clean and easy to fill and is also wind resistant. Many ornamental hummingbird feeders are nice to look at but don’t meet these requirements.
  • A Starling resistant suet bird feeders. Upside down suet bird feeders are perfect for this. If Starlings are not a problem in your town an upright suet bird feeders will do just fine. A tail prop suet bird feeders can really make the woodpeckers feel right at home and also the other suet lovers won’t mind it.
  • A tube feeder for thistle (Nyjer) seed preferably without perches. screen mesh or stainless steel would be best and easiest to clean.
  • A tube feeder for black oil sunflower seed and/or peanuts without perches. Again stainless steel is easy to wash.
  • A platform type bird feeders to accommodate the birds who scratch.
  • A hopper type bird feeders filled with a extremely good mixed wild bird seed to accommodate the perching birds.

These bird feeders provided with water and a little shelter for the birds should attract about any bird which passes by. Remember the 3 basic elements of offering food for birds and wildlife – comfort, cleanliness and consistency. Supply the birds using their food of choice in a bird feeder that will permit them to utilize their natural instincts to obtain it. Keep the feeders clean and always be certain there is food in them. While wild birds are certainly not reliant on us for food, it is much more pleasing for you if birds are actually coming to the bird feeders. An empty bird feeder attracts no birds. Using these strategies should improve the amount of birds in your yard.

November 2010
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