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How to Choose a Bird Feeder for Your Yard

Updated on May 29, 2017
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A Clean feeder, bird bath, and the right plants are sure to attract the birds to your yard

During the spring the songbirds return to our yards from the warmer climates. They look for places to rest, build their homes, and raise their little ones. As bird watchers most of us can't wait to welcome them back to our yards.

Listening to the birds in the early morning brings a smile to our face and makes us realize that warmer weather is here to stay for a while. In order to enjoy them more add a splash of plants, bird feeders and bird baths to your yard to attract them.

Birds enjoy a yard with lots shrubs, evergreens, and trees along with a good patch of grass. The grass is great for supplying insects and and worms. Shrubs, trees and and evergreens provide other bird essentials including fruits and seeds, nesting places, and protection from the weather and predators.

Supply birds with fresh water with a birdbath or a fountain with dripping or moving water, because birds are attracted to the sounds of running water. Goldfinches enjoy sitting on the drippers to drink while Hummingbirds like to fly through misters.

Keep your bird feeders clean and replace any damaged ones that are left over from the winter. It is important to replace damp bird seed and clean up old shells left under the feeders to prevent mold and disease.

While summer brings a variety of food choices to birds the birds look to humans during the spring for food. Many birds look for feeders this time of year because there are no seeds to harvest. With so many variety of seeds on the market for birds, if you are a novice try starting out with black sunflower seeds.

Attracting Birds

Lots of birds were attracted to the variety of flowers we planted in the yard
Lots of birds were attracted to the variety of flowers we planted in the yard | Source
Planting the right trees and shrubs will provide birds with food, shelter, and places to rest.  This photo is from our yard in the early spring
Planting the right trees and shrubs will provide birds with food, shelter, and places to rest. This photo is from our yard in the early spring | Source

Bird Feeders and Bird Food

Black oil sunflower seeds are the primary seeds for songbirds. Keep the seeds stored in an area where they will stay fresh. Once the seeds leave the shell they loose their nutritional value so it is not necessary to purchase seeds that have already been shelled.

There are many types of bird feeders. There are feeders that attract Hummingbirds, Orioles, Bluebirds, song birds, squirrel proof bird feeders, You can shop by bird type, style, orientation or price.

Feeders that come in bird types are for a variety birds including ones that attract Orioles in the spring. Orioles are attracted by oranges but according to bird experts they prefer grape jelly. This means you may to stock up on jelly and keep it dry with a baffle over the feeder.

Hummingbird are attracted to red feeders. There is a hummingbird nectar available in the stores that can be purchased to place in feeders or you can mix your own. (One part sugar to four parts water and boil to sugar is dissolved). Be sure to refrigerate any leftover mixture.

Hummingbirds are attracted to a variety of plants including bee balms and trumpet creepers.

Bluebirds feeders are a little more complex and may take some experimenting in order to attract the birds to your yard. They prefer open spaces and enjoy a well built box in order to create their nest.

Other types of feeders include caged feeders, tube feeders, gazebo feeders, platform and tray feeders, suet and seed cake feeders, window feeders, free standing and hanging feeders.

Squirrel proof feeders are one of the most popular types of bird feeders. Many bird lovers look at the squirrel as an enemy. The price of these feeders may scare you off at first but it may be worth the investment.

Feeder placement, seed choice, and location are crucial when choosing a bird feeder. Birds tend to have a preference on which feeders they like. If you have several feeders in a yard birds may tend to choose one over another one.

Feeding the birds takes patiences and some experimenting to get the right birds attracted to your yard. Be sure to ask questions and read up on what type of feeder, seed and plants to get for your yard to keep the birds chirping and singing a song for you to enjoy.

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    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Hello craftdrawer. I really like this hub. I have several bird feeders and baths in my yard too. I love listening and watching birds. I also love taking pictures of birds too. This is a very good hub with lots of good information. Voted up and sharing! Following back too! :)

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