By Judy Bernard, Master Gardener
In March, I wrote about attracting birds to the garden.
Different types of birds need different types of food and different types of feeders. In my garden I have 5 different types of feeders, from tube feeders for large sunflower seeds and others for small nyjer/niger seeds. I have a tray feeder for birds that don’t like the perches, and suet feeders that are so important for adding fat to their diets. Whenever birds are at the feeders, and I check the ground under the feeders and I find ground-feeding birds, like mourning doves or junkos. The birds at the feeders have dropped seeds for others.
It’s important to purchase good quality food that is fresh and environmentally safe for the birds to eat. Check the bags before buying to see that you don’t have a lot of chaff and other filler in the bag. Sunflower seeds are a good starter and are popular with many different bird species.
Place the feeders close to trees and other areas that birds can perch to check for predators before approaching the feeder. Cats like to lie in wait under nearby shrubs hoping a non-suspecting bird will come close. You will see them come to the feeder briefly and then fly up to the tree before coming back for more.
Other welcoming features you can add to your garden to attract birds are nesting boxes and bird baths. You will find more suggestions in the following articles:
My next installment will be about what plants to have in your garden to attract these flying visitors.