How to Use a Backyard Bird Feeder



Avoid nuisance birds.,
Eliminate hawks.,
Keep squirrels out of your feeders.,
Eliminate pesky insects.,
Get rid of rats or mice.,
Don’t feed the bears.,
Keep your cats inside.

Starlings and crows, in particular, have a tendency to take over bird feeding areas. You can adjust your feeders if they are plagued by aggressive, dominant birds that are frightening other birds away.Use suet feeders that are only open on the bottom, forcing birds to feed while hanging upside-down – woodpeckers, nuthatches, and chickadees feed this naturally, but starlings are usually unable to.
To protect small birds, hang tube feeders with short perches and no catch basins, so large birds have nowhere to perch.
If an aggressive hummingbird is keeping the others from eating, hang several feeders in different parts of your yard, so it can only see one or two at a time.
Avoid spreading food on the ground, or using open-air platform feeders, as this attracts larger, aggressive breeds of bird.

, If your wild birds are being plagued by hawks while they try to feed, try taking the feeders down for a few days. Your birds will feed elsewhere, and the hawks will move on to another area with more prey. Then put your feeders back in place, and the small birds should return., Squirrels may be cute to watch, but they eat all your feed and scare the birds away. Squirrels are notoriously clever animals, so you may need to experiment a little to find a good solution.A squirrel baffle is an inverted plastic bowl that hangs above the feeder – when a squirrel lands on the baffle, it will slide off onto the ground. Some bird watchers use old vinyl records, 2-liter soda bottles, or plastic salad bowls as baffles.
Feeders that hang from a horizontal pipe or wire can be protected with plastic tubing. Thread the horizontal supporting line through sections of plastic tubing – when a squirrel tries to climb across the wire, the tubing will spin and dump the squirrel off.
Avoid coating poles with oil or grease to protect your feeders from squirrels. Animals can freeze to death when their fur or feathers lose their insulating properties because they are matted in oils or grease.

, If ants, wasps, or bees take over one of your feeders, you will probably need to move the feeder to another part of your yard. Avoid using toxic chemicals to kill insects in your yard, because most insects are an integral part of the food chain. Harsh chemicals may also injure or kill the very birds you are trying to help., Rodents love bird food, and can quickly become a problem if you aren’t careful. If one of your feeders becomes infested with mice or rats, take down your feeders for a couple of weeks to encourage the rodents to look elsewhere for food. Then clean your feeders thoroughly before returning them to your yard.

Try protecting your feeder with a large tray placed underneath it, to keep rodents from getting to the seed.
Clean the catch-tray regularly, because bird droppings from the feeder may contain salmonella, which will then spread among your birds., Bears hibernate during the winter, and then emerge in late March. If bears are a problem in your area, you’ll need to take precautions to avoid drawing them into your yard. In this situation, it’s best not to feed birds at night from late March through November.Take your feeders down and bring them inside at night.
Always hang feeders 10 feet above the ground and 6 feet away from tree trunks.
Never feed birds by spreading seed on the ground, or leave seed on the ground after cleaning your feeders.
Store your bird seed indoors, or in a securely locked shed or garage with a sturdy door.
Avoid hanging bird feeders on your front porch, or near your doors.
If you do see a bear, remain indoors and call animal control. Never approach a wild bear.

, Domesticated cats are one of the main causes of death among wild birds in populated areas. Try to keep your cat indoors if possible, to keep it away from your birds – an indoor life is safer for your cat, as well. To avoid trouble from neighborhood cats, be sure there aren’t any branches or fences near your feeders that could provide a cat easy access to your birds.

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