You Need Help Early
Most people tell me when they go to their local bird feeding store they are given fairly limited information about what they should be feeding birds in their backyards. Only the really good ones spend any time with you to see if they can figure out what you’ve already got and what you are most likely to attract. This is what happened to me my first year. A big name birding store had me set up this massive hopper feeder only to find it completely overwhelmed first by grackles(sunflower seed) and then mourning doves($afflower seed). Since that time I’ve adopted an observe, try and adjust posture when it comes to my backyard friends.
Bird Feeding Is A Dynamic Process
I’m always tinkering and you should be too. Before you even make a trip to the birding store you should buy a small pack of human sunflower seeds, sprinkle some on your patio and see what comes to get them. It may take a little while but it will be worth it. If it’s birds I consider nuisance birds, like grackles, starlings or sparrows, you may have a bit of a challenge encouraging other birds because these birds tend to be rather aggressive. That’s not to say you can’t have any other birds by any means. Just that you may need to figure out how to accomodate the other birds while discouraging the nuisance birds. I will be doing a series this summer on each bird I have in my backyard and how I go about making sure they get the food they need and are able to enjoy it.
If you have seen birds in your backyard that are not coming to get your sunflower seed, you should pick up a Stokes Birding Guide to get a quick low-down on what they are most likely to eat. Plus, you have to take into account not all birds jump at a new food source as a safety precaution. Cardinals for one, are very cautious about any new food source. Even one placed on an established feeder station. So, make sure to pay attention not only to the birds that come to get your seed but the ones you frequently see in your backyard. That will give you a good starting point for an inexpensive foray into bird feeding.
What Other Animals Do You Have?
Animals like raccoons, squirrels, skunks and bunnies all present new opportunities and challenges. For instance, if you have squirrels or raccoons you’ll definitely need some kind of baffling around your feeder station. For me, squirrels have given me way more joy than headache because I’ve worked hard to feed them while limiting access to feeders. Bunnies, I just enjoy watching them feed on my lawn and make sure not to use toxic lawn care chemicals.
This Is Just A Primer
Starting later this month, I’ll be presenting a series of articles where I’ll discuss some of the challenges I’ve faced and how I’ve dealt with them. I’ll talk about how I feed common backyard visitors and how I discourage the birds that don’t need my help prosper. I take my bird feeding very seriously and my nine years of experience will help you save time and money while increasing your enjoyment of your backyard birds.