Food: Putting out food for the birds can be as simple as peanut butter and birdseed or plain sunflower seeds spread over a pine cone or two and hung from a tree. If you’re interested in putting up a hanging or stand feeder, peruse the options at your local hardware store or Wild Birds Unlimited if there’s a store near you. When deciding on a feeder keep in mind what type of seed the feeder is designed for, and what your budget is for purchasing seed. Different types of seeds will attract different species of birds: thistle seed tends to attract goldfinches, suet brings in woodpeckers, and sunflower seeds or a basic seed mix are excellent for bringing in a variety of species.
Another big consideration with feeder selection is squirrels: do you have a lot of squirrels in your neighborhood or only a few? Squirrels are excellent bird feeder hackers and thieves, so you’ll want to make sure your feeder is placed out of reach of low branches or your roof to make squirrel access more difficult. There are also some excellent bird feeder models that are weight-sensitive and will either shut off food access to an animal as heavy as a squirrel or rotate to dislodge any adventurous squirrel.
Feeders such as this one have weight-sensitive grilling that will block off feeding slots from squirrels and heavy birds.
One important thing to keep in mind with bird feeders is wintertime feeding. Once the birds discover your feeder, they’ll become repeat customers, especially our birds such as nuthatches, chickadees, juncos that are around during the winter. Keeping your feeder full during the winter months ensures that your new bird neighbors have access to food throughout the winter. Plus you’ll have the joy and fun of watching them from inside even when it’s cold and snowing outside!