Supply treats for your favorite birds, and some may sing for their supper.
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.
Birds' Favorite Treats
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