More Tips and Advice on Feeding the Birds
According to a report on eco-tourism, bird watching is one of the most popular and fastest growing recreational activities in North America. Luckily, you can partake of this educational and entertaining hobby with one (or more!) of Do it Best’s many bird feeders. With the right choice of food, proper placement and a minimum of care and maintenance, you can make many new feathered friends.
Autumn is the best time to install a bird feeder. Birds that are wintering in you area will begin to establish a pattern of feeding to carry them through the colder months. Being small and warm blooded, they have to consume a relatively large amount of food each day. However, you should not feed migratory birds like hummingbirds, finches and robins in the fall since you want to encourage them to continue their normal wintering habits. Don’t worry; you’ll see them again when the warm weather returns!
Keep in mind that different species of birds prefer different styles of feeders. Bluebirds, cardinals, and doves prefer platform feeders. Tube feeders are more popular among finches, nuthatches, and woodpeckers. Humming birds, tanagers and orioles desire nectar feeders filled with specially formulated syrup. Remember, it is extremely important to clean all your feeders at least once every two weeks. Use a 9:1 mixture of water and bleach, rinsing well, and let the feeders air dry before re-hanging. When you refill them daily, shake out damp seeds and remove empty shells or hulls.
Experiment with different mixtures of seed to see what birds you can attract. Dawn and dusk are the best times to put out a measured amount of food and monitor it. If you’re consistent, the birds will soon adjust their foraging to include your little oasis. Once you begin feeding, though, it is important to continue; your friends may become dependent upon you, especially after storms.
Choose a place to install your feeder that is close to flora where birds tend to gather; nearby overgrowth also provides good hiding places when predators like hawks come by. Make sure that you protect your feeders from rain and snowfall, and position them far enough above the ground where they won’t be at risk from cats and dogs. Also, keep in mind that food will attract other animals, so clean the ground below and consider installing baffles against unwanted invaders such as squirrels.