Feeding birds can be a fun and rewarding hobby. Within a few days of setting up your first bird feeder, you’ll be attracting the beauty and song of a wide variety of backyard birds. Try these beginner tips to start attracting birds to your yard:
Choosing a Bird Feeder:
What size feeder should you get? When you’re just starting out with bird feeding, it’s hard to guess how many birds you’ll attract. Start with a small feeder that holds up to 2 lbs. of seed. If it tends to get emptied out quickly, you can then switch to a larger feeder.
What type of feeder should you choose? There are plenty of options to help you attract different types of birds! Hopper styles look similar to lanterns or birdhouses. They tend to serve larger birds like Northern Cardinals. Sparrows and finches enjoy tube feeders. If squirrels are a nuisance, save the seed for the birds with a squirrel-proof bird feeder. All-metal, wire mesh feeders attract clinging birds like chickadees and nuthatches. And suet feeders will bring in woodpeckers.
Where to Place Your Feeder:
Where should you hang a bird feeder? First, you want it be noticed by birds. Placing it 15 to 20 feet from a tree, bush or other cover gives birds a place to sit and study the feeder before approaching it. Also, birds on the feeder will have an easy escape route if they’re suddenly startled. Second, you want to be able to enjoy it! So place the feeder where you can see it and make sure it’s easy to reach so you can refill and clean it.
How to Clean Your Feeder:
How often should you clean it? Bird feeders should be cleaned once every two weeks. Dirty feeders can be a focal point for disease and other illnesses, but a regular cleaning schedule helps keep the birds healthy!
How do you clean a feeder? Take it down and empty any remaining bird seed. Wash the feeder thoroughly in warm, soapy water. Rinse it well and allow it to drip dry before refilling it.
What’s next? Once you have a regular flock of feeder visitors, you may start looking for more ways to attract birds.