How to Use a Backyard Bird Feeder



Learn which birds are in your area.,
Try a hopper or house feeder.This is a walled box on a platform, either raised on a pole or suspended from a branch, with a roof to help protect seeds from the elements.,
Install a window feeder.,
Try a thistle feeder.,
Experiment with suet feeders.,
Hang a hummingbird feeder.,
Choose plastic, steel, or glass.,
Look for drainage holes.

The first step to planning your backyard habitat is to discover which wild birds frequent your geographical area. Purchase the appropriate feeder and seed type for the birds you would like to attract.

The National Audubon Society publishes a number of field guides for wild bird enthusiasts.
Visit an online reference like eNature, where you can click your region on a map to learn about the types of birds in your area, Spring migration routes, when they will arrive and how to attract them.;
, Hopper feeders will attract many wild birds, including finches, jays, cardinals, sparrows, and chickadees. House feeders are often easy targets for squirrels, and you will need to keep an eye on the food to make sure it isn’t getting wet.

, A window feeder is held to a window by suction-cups, and is usually made of plastic. Window feeders attract finches, sparrows, chickadees, and titmice. Be sure to check that food isn’t becoming soiled, because birds will be feeding while standing on piles of seeds inside the feeder., This is a special tube feeder, with very small openings that dispense tiny thistle (or nyjer) seeds. Thistle feeders are attractive to small songbirds, especially redpolls and finches. A variant of this is the thistle sock feeder, which is a fine-mesh bag that birds cling to while extracting the seeds., These are cages made of wire mesh, or bags made of plastic mesh, filled with suet and nailed or tied to a tree trunk or suspended from a branch. Suet feeders attract woodpeckers and nuthatches, chickadees, titmice, and jays. For a simple version of this feeder, you can smear suet directly into the knotholes of trees., These are either bottle-shaped or saucer-shaped, and filled with artificial nectar or sugar solution. They are usually made of plastic or glass and have bright red plastic flowers to attract hummingbirds. Some hummingbird feeders have plastic mesh screens over the feeding holes to keep bees and other insects out of the nectar., These are often much easier to keep clean than old-fashioned wood or clay feeders that have porous surfaces. Plastic, steel, and glass feeders usually last longer than their wooden counterparts, which become weather-worn after a few seasons. If you are looking for an eco-friendly solution, commercial bird feeders are available that are made of recycled plastic., Examine the feeder before buying it, to be sure it has sufficient drainage holes on the bottom. This helps keep the seed dry, so help keep it from becoming moldy. A plastic dome that covers the entire feeder will also help keep rain out.

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