Bird watching is a delightful hobby, and setting up a bird feeder in your garden can attract a variety of species. Whether you want to attract small songbirds, colorful finches, or majestic woodpeckers, a bird feeder can bring them to your backyard. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about setting up a bird feeder, including the types of feeders, the best locations, and the types of seeds to use.
Types of Bird Feeders
There are several types of bird feeders to choose from, each designed to attract specific bird species. Here are the most common types of bird feeders:
- Hopper Feeder: Hopper feeders are the most popular type of bird feeder. They have a large container that holds the seed, and a roof to protect it from the weather. These feeders attract a variety of birds, including chickadees, cardinals, and jays.
- Tube Feeder: Tube feeders are long, slender feeders that have multiple feeding ports. They’re designed to hold small seeds, such as nyjer and thistle. These feeders are ideal for attracting finches, sparrows, and siskins.
- Suet Feeder: Suet feeders are designed to hold blocks of suet, which is a high-energy food made from animal fat. These feeders are ideal for attracting woodpeckers, nuthatches, and chickadees.
- Platform Feeder: Platform feeders are flat surfaces that hold birdseed. They’re designed to attract ground-feeding birds, such as doves, sparrows, and juncos.
Best Locations for Bird Feeders
The location of your bird feeder is just as important as the type of feeder you choose. Here are a few tips for finding the best location for your bird feeder:
- Near Trees and Shrubs: Birds need shelter to feel safe while they’re feeding. Placing your feeder near trees and shrubs provides birds with a place to retreat if they feel threatened.
- Away from Windows: Birds can easily become disoriented and collide with windows, causing injury or death. Placing your feeder at least three feet away from windows can prevent these accidents.
- Visible from Indoors: Watching birds at the feeder is one of the joys of bird feeding. Placing your feeder near a window allows you to enjoy the birds’ antics from the comfort of your home.
Types of Seeds to Use
Choosing the right seeds for your bird feeder is essential for attracting the right bird species. Here are a few of the most common bird seed types:
- Sunflower Seeds: Sunflower seeds are a favorite of many bird species, including cardinals, finches, and nuthatches.
- Nyjer Seeds: Nyjer seeds, also known as thistle seeds, are small and black. They’re ideal for attracting finches, siskins, and goldfinches.
- Safflower Seeds: Safflower seeds are white and larger than other seeds. They’re ideal for attracting cardinals, chickadees, and doves.
- Millet Seeds: Millet seeds are small and round. They’re ideal for attracting sparrows, juncos, and doves.
Setting up a bird feeder can bring a wide variety of bird species to your backyard, providing hours of entertainment and enjoyment. With the right feeder, location, and seeds, you can attract a diverse range of feathered friends. Whether you’re an experienced bird watcher or just starting out, setting up a bird feeder is an easy and rewarding way to connect with nature.