Attracting Backyard Visitors  

You can attract birds to your yard all year long. And different feeders will attract different birds. A ground feeder may attract blue jays. A tabletop feeder, which can sit on a windowsill, deck railing, or tree stump, may attract sparrows and finches. Cardinals and chickadees like to eat from tube-shaped feeders hung from tree and porches. And tree trunk feeders may lure a woodpecker to your yard. Place bird feeders out of reach of any neighborhood cats (they like to pounce on birds).

What kind of food should you put in your feeder? Black oil sunflower seeds are smaller in size than most sunflower seeds and will attract a wide variety of birds. “Suet,” a hard, white dry fat (available in supermarkets), is tasty to woodpeckers. Nuts, like peanuts, pecans, walnuts, are certainly a special treat for your feathered guests. Crack open the shells and chop up the insides before putting it in your feeder. Better yet, smear a few teaspoons of peanut butter on a pinecone, roll it in seeds, and hang it up for birds to enjoy. Birds absolutely love peanut butter and will flock to your yard to get this special treat.

In the winter, when temperatures fall below freezing, birds have a hard time finding water to drink. A shallow pan of fresh water available for at least part of the day is helpful. The water may even attract birds to your yard that are shy about visiting your feeders.

Once birds learn to depend on you for food and water, it’s important to keep providing for them. And in return, you’ll be rewarded with the constant flutter of wings in your yard.