Food and Water are two of the greatest
attractions you can provide for your feathered friends. The third is a Habitat where they can build nests and elude
Feeding your Song Birds can be as simple as tossing food on the
ground or on a concrete sidewalk or patio. A better location would be under
an overhanging Bush or Shrub, or under a Picnic Table. Most Song Birds prefer
such shelter from predators.
Some Song Birds actually prefer to feed on the ground as opposed
to an elevated location. True Sparrows and Brown Thrashers belong to this
group. They love to scratch in the underlying debris.
But most Song Birds can be lured to your favorite location visible
from a convenient window. Try to locate Feeders and Baths near shrubbery
which creates an escape path from predators.
A Milk Jug makes a serviceable Feeder. They can be hung by the
handles. Sunshine will make them brittle after a few months, but free replacements
makes for an attractive price.
Using four dedicated Feeders to hold Sunflower Seeds, Millet, Thistle Seed and Calcium will help prevent waste by Song Birds scratching for a favorite
Titmice are especially guilty of this action, which is often done
in search of Sunflower Seeds in a Seed Mixture.
Mixtures usually cost less per pound, but contain lots of filler which goes
Some Birds and species are prone to Hoarding. They will remove Seeds
from Feeders and stash them under Tree Bark or other crevice for later consumption.
It is questionable whether they remember these many various locations. Save 75% on Sunflower Seeds HERE.
Squirrels are a determined nuisance. A wire cage made of mesh that
admits Song birds but not Squirrels, makes servicing more difficult.
But it's fun watching Squirrels trying to figure this thing out.
Some "Squirrel Proof" Feeders are designed to lower a door
over the Seeds with the weight of a Squirrel on the Feeder. But even some
of these designs have succumbed to the Squirrel's relentless determination.
Suet Feeders may
be even more varied than Seed Feeders. They include Pine cones spread with
Peanut Butter or Suet; small Tree Limbs with holes drilled for Suet; half-gallon
Milk Jugs with flaps cut in the sides and 1" of melted Suet poured into the
Of course, the wire mesh holders with matching Suet Cakes can be
found wherever Bird Seed is sold. These can be fitted with roofs to protect
the suet from Sunshine and weather.
Suet can be made from Beef Tallow with Seeds, Nuts, and Berries.
Any bird which eats insects should relish Suet. In winter many Insect-eating
Song birds turn to Wild Fruit and Berries for nourishment. If you make suet,
you may want to add some Berries to it.
Salt Feeders are
not very common, but some species seem attracted to Salt even more than to
Seeds or Suet. Purple Finches and House Finches are notable examples.
A Salt Feeder is shown to the left.
Many Song birds are "Hoarders"
Chickadees and Titmice are prime examples:
If a Song Bird is hungry and plans to eat a Sunflower seed (for instance),
it will not go far from the Feeder to sit on a limb and peck out the edible
However, a Song Bird's stomach is about the size of a Pea. So it only takes
about 5 Sunflower Seeds to fill the stomach. After that you will notice the
Birds flying far from the Feeder, and if you watch closely with Binoculars,
you will see them search for a secret place to hide the Seed, and quickly
return for another.
They will do this all day long or until the Feeder is empty.
It's questionable whether they remember where their many seeds are stored.
It's also questioable whether it's wise to keep Seed available all day, all
The lure of easy meals will attract Songbirds to the Feeders instead of causing
them to forage afield for Seeds and especially Insects which may be beneficial
in a normal diet.
It may be better to feed them morning and evening. Limit the morning portion
to the amount that is consumed at the evening feeding. This will cause them
to seek out a varied diet during the daytime.
Be sure to keep drinking water available at all times.
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