Birds appreciate supplemental food and fresh water, especially in fall and winter. You can stop feedings in summer, but a continuing supply of food will encourage birds to nest and raise young in your yard.
- Different species feed at different levels. So feed birds on the ground, at tabletop level, from hanging feeders, and from feeders placed against tree trunks.
- Place food near shrubs or trees so birds will have the security of an escape perch nearby.
- Sprinkle small amounts of food on the ground until you can gauge what's eaten in a day. This will prevent extra food from rotting and making birds ill.
- Rely on a good-quality birdseed mixture that will attract the widest variety of birds.
- Serve sunflower seeds in a hanging or post feeder and niger seed in a tube feeder or fine-mesh bag hung from a wire or tree branch.
- Buy beef suet from your butcher; place it in a mesh bag or in a wire basket and fasten it to the side of a tree or post. It's best to stop serving this when summer comes, as suet will go rancid in the heat.
- If you live in a frost-free climate, serving sugar water (4 parts water to 1 part sugar) will make you popular year-round with hummingbirds, tanagers, grosbeaks, house finches, and some warblers. In colder climates, serve sugar water during warm months only.
Attract your favorite bird -- with its favorite food!
Hummingbird: sugar water
Bluebird: beef suet, peanuts
Blue Jay: beef suet, peanuts, sunflower seed
Red-Winged Blackbird: millet, peanuts
Cardinal: peanuts, sunflower seeds
American Goldfinch: millet, peanuts, sunflower seed
Baltimore Oriole: beef suet, peanuts, sugar water
Chickadee: beef suet, niger seed, peanuts, sunflower seed
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak: sunflower seed, sugar water
White-Breasted Nuthatch: beef suet, peanuts, sunflower seed