Posted by: Ellen Hankes | May 17, 2010

How Can I Get Organized to Feed (and Attract) the Birds?

Backyard birding is a fun hobby that can bring hours of enjoyment to young and old. Here are a few simple tips to help you organize your efforts and materials for keeping the birds coming to your feeders.

What kind of birds do you want to attract? Hummingbirds, finches, woodpeckers and Baltimore orioles all like specific and different types of feeders. Beginners may want to start with a kind of feeder and birdseed that will attract a variety of birds. A local or internet information source such as Wild Birds Unlimited will provide specific details about feeders and feed.

Follow recommendations. Birds often like landing places before they fly to a feeding area. Water sources are important as well. The more welcome you make your backyard, the more you will be rewarded with the beauty and interesting behaviors of the birds who come to visit (and dine).

Secure bird feed in covered metal containers. The pesky (but cute) squirrels chewed a hole through my heavy plastic can when they wanted what was inside the container. Keeping birdseed in the original plastic bag will not deter mice. Don’t overlook a chest type freezer for keeping bird seed and suet cakes fresh and out of reach of unintended guests.

Start on a small scale. Feeding our feathered friends takes some organizing. Start with one type of feeder and one type of feed. If that goes well, and you are willing to take on another layer of responsibility, add a second type of feeder and corresponding feed.

My personal favorite among our feathered visitors is the hummingbird. Throughout the coming months we will watch them plump up on the oh-so-simple recipe of sugar and water. They will become friendlier and will pose on the edge of the chair or deck while we admire their beauty. Quite a reward for hanging a feeder and keeping it filled!


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