Beginners Guide to Bird Feeding

Anytime is a good time to start the hobby of bird feeding.  The warm weather of spring and summer offer an opportune time to transform your backyard space into a magnificent habitat for birds.  By asking yourself some simple questions, you will be able to decide what is going to work best for your yard.

Whether you live in a mature neighborhood with gardens, trees and shrubs, or a new subdivision, we can recommend alternative suggestions for your space.

When deciding on where to place a new bird feeder you will want to ensure you will be able to enjoy viewing the feeder from the room, or rooms, in your home that you frequent most.  If you can hang a feeder from a tree branch there are a number of branch hooks in varying sizes to choose from.  If you don’t have the option of hanging feeders from trees, a feeding station would be the best option.

If you are looking for something simple, a single or double shepherd’s pole may suit you best.  Perhaps you are looking to set up multiple feeders.  If this is the case, there are feeding stations available with multiple attachments.  After you have determined which type of station works best for you, it’s time to decide on what kind of feeder you would like.

Feeders come in many styles, shapes and sizes.  Here is a breakdown of what your options are:

Hopper Feeder – a house shaped feeder allowing birds to feed from one or both sides.

Platform Feeder –  a square or rectangular shaped feeder with no roof or side walls.  Some are designed to hang from a branch or pole while others can be placed on a table or the ground.

Cylindrical Feeder – A cylinder shaped feeder which would hang from a branch or pole.  Usually has two or more feeding ports unless it is made for clinging birds only.

Fly-through Feeder – A feeder with a base and roof, but no side walls.

Window Feeders – Feeders that cling to your window with suction cups.

Squirrel Proof/Resistant Feeders – Feeders that are weight based designed to close when the squirrel’s weight is applied.

Character/Whimsical Feeders – Feeders designed in the shape of birds or other wildlife.

If you choose a feeder that is not squirrel proof, a baffle is highly recommended.

You can also look at feeders intended to hold certain types of seed/suet.  These options would include feeders for peanut halves, whole peanuts, suet, nyjer, finch and friends or fine sunflower hearts.  Seasonal feeders such as hummingbird and oriole feeders are also available.  Our staff would be happy to answer any questions you have about these.

Once you have chosen your bird feeder, it’s time to choose which seed you would like to feed.  If you have decided to start with one feeder, we would recommend your choice of our Red Carpet, Fiesta or Sunflower Heart seeds.

Red Carpet consists of three types of sunflower seeds, peanut halves and safflower.  Fiesta Mix has three types of sunflower seeds, cracked corn and white millet.  Sunflower Hearts (our best selling seed) is black oil sunflower seeds without the shell, therefore the ground beneath your feeder will be shell free.  Any one of these will attract a variety of birds to your feeder.

We hope this assists you in making some decisions about what kind of feeder you would like to use.  We also carry other birding products to help you attract birds to your garden such as birdbaths and birdhouses.  By offering food, shelter and water you will attract more birds.  Get ready to perceive your yard in a whole new way.

Happy Birding!

By Jane Paradis

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