The best of summer… when everything seems bolder and more alive. Gardens pop with vivid color, and many birds’ plumage is at its brightest before molting. Colorful fruits are also a great idea for wild bird feeders! Migratory birds (as well as a few residents) enjoy various fruits as part of their healthy diet too 🙂
Adding a new dimension to feeding wild birds, fresh fruit offers great variety for many species, there’s just so much more than plain old birdseed. Staked, platform and open dish feeders accommodate many types of foods – allowing you to change things up with seasons. Got a suet feeder? Simply try orange slices for orioles, woodpeckers, cat birds and others.
Some staked and dish feeders are far from boring, fun designs to add a splash of color, or even bring a smile to say any cat enthusiast! With these wild bird feeders, suet is perfect for winter feeding too, and there’s lots of recipes online (and on our site) to make your own. Large formed balls work best on the pin, and by mixing a big batch, it’ can be stored in the freezer for ease of use.
Because variety is the spice of life, mix it up for your feathered friend this summer! You never know who may stop by, and after all, you can always revert to boring birdseed in your feeders!
Tooth, texture… that’s what it’s all about here. If the surface of the feeder is not smooth as glass, the wiggly, crawly delights get hold and simply crawl right out! Now this is a huge advantage to ground feeding birds like robins – ours actually sit and wait below the mealworm feeder. But for bluebirds, chickadees, nuthatches, warblers, swallows and titmice, they have to swoop down to catch their worms if they’ve all crawled out.
So what’s the point of using a hanging dish feeder if worms end up on the ground? Not much! If you’re feeding live worms, it’s best to use a feeder that has absolutely no texture on the inside surface. Worms will stay put longer, and while juveniles are learning to use feeders, this is helpful.
An open dish type feeder will also accommodate a good variety of other treats to entice wild birds. Oranges used in this double-dish model have orioles flocking and teaching babies where the good stuff is! Suet chunks and peanuts are also good options for winter feeding.
Smooth, plexi-glass meal worm feeders like this are available in staked, hanging and even pole-mounted options. They’re durable for year-round use and dishwasher safe. Birds can perch anywhere on the dish – making it easier to land and feed. The vertical hangers are long enough to use with a weather guard, or even a baffle should squirrels be a problem around your place.
If you’re on the squeamish side and can’t bear the thought of live worms, birds will also go for dried worms. In fact they pack more protein per serving! Consider a dish style mealworm feeder this season… they work great for more than just worms!
Love cool stuff! These butterfly feeders(coming soon) do double duty for fruit lovers like; Warblers, Thrashers, Woodpeckers, and lots of other migratory friends who adore fruit and/or jelly. An Oriole’s favorite, the center may be filled with jelly, while orange quarters are placed right along side.
As a nectar feeder for butterflies, the sea sponge is included. It acts as a wick-absorbing the liquid because butterflies will not drink from an open source. This method recreates how the flying gems actually draw nectar from flowers. Over-ripened fruit may also be placed on the outer dish, offering butterflies a varied and swell refuge.
Handcrafted of weather-proof stoneware, lead-free glazes, and brass chain, it’s safe outdoors year-round. The feeder may also be placed in the dishwasher for a quick & thorough cleaning. Lure butterflies to your place offering nectar and fruit together in this groovy, hand-made feeder.
And speaking of fruit, butterflies enjoy a variety of over-ripened ones. Grapes, oranges, melons, peaches, apples and berries will entice them to nibble and come back for more. This durable stalk feeder is perfect for creating a fruit smorgasbord, even corn on the cob works well in winter after butterfly migration is complete. (Yes… some folks really do feed the squirrels!)
Of course habitat plays a key role in attracting butterflies, and omitting pesticides will prove most beneficial. Nectar-producing flowers (lantana, abelia, and butterfly bush) are most common, and should be included in the landscape. Host plants are also required, and will likely deteriorate with munching! Milkweed, parsley and cabbage are a few favorites caterpillars love (and need) for growth to chrysalis stage.
Ever witnessed the stages of a butterfly metamorphosis? Until seeing the video below, I can’t say that I have! Truly a masterpiece of nature, it’s worth the watch!
Yes, some of us do feed the squirrels! Some just for fun and the entertainment aspect, others feed them as a deterrent from bird feeders, keeping them occupied. And some, well they just despise the little critters. After all they are a member of the rodent family, but for some reason, the bushy tail seems to make them okay?
The Table & Chair Feeder is a classic that’s been around forever, and they last for years until the wood starts to crack and rot from exposure to the elements. Now this fun feeder has gone green, as in recycled plastic. It won’t crack, fade, split or warp… guaranteed! The best thing about recycled plastic anything, is that it helps keeps these plastics out of landfills. Some products come with stickers telling you how many milk jugs, or containers were used to manufacture the item, which is pretty cool. These fun squirrel feeders are made to last, chew-proof and handsome too, the little critters will love them. As a special treat during frigid weather, we smear peanut butter on the corn cobs… they go crazy for it! The high fat & protein content provides the extra calories needed for energy to stay warm, and it tastes good too.
But if one single corn cob isn’t enough for your pack, the large capacity stalk feeder might be in order. These are perfect for corn cobs (and fruit too in summer). Attract orioles, cat birds, woodpeckers and other migratory friends with orange slices, apples or grapes during warm weather. These squirrel feeders hold lots of corn (12 ears), but if your furry friend, little pigs are like ours… no amount of food ever seems to be enough!
Hey… and thanks for feeding the squirrels 🙂
The cold weather of winter leaves behind some clues for us (if we look) from the previous busy season of the avian world. Simply look up and take notice. Barren-looking trees with their foliage stripped will reveal the nests of several species, and what they’ve used for nesting materials.
Large, messy nests are usually the work of squirrels, while a smaller nest consisting of twigs and grasses may be that of a Cardinal, Blue Jay, or Mockingbird. An even smaller nest with tightly woven plant fibers, maybe even some milkweed or thistle down still attached would be the work of an American Goldfinch. You’d have to search a bit harder to find nests from Bluebirds, Chickadees, or Nuthatches, as these birds nest in cavities or birdhouses. You can easily encourage nest building around your place this season by offering nesting materials before the season actually starts. Although there are many cool kinds of materials and holders available, this is most definitely a “do-it-yourselfer”!
Start by gathering nesting materials now. Feathers and pet hair are preferred by Chickadees, while decorative mosses (Spanish, Sphagnum, and that thin, curly straw-like stuff) might be used by many species mentioned above. Bright cotton yarns add a nice touch too, as variety is the spice of life. Although I’ve always heard that dryer lint is a good one… our local birds have never touched it when previously offered. Stay away from plastics, fishing line, and the like. These can get tangled around nestlings or their legs, proving to be hazardous, and sometimes fatal.
Now, what to put your nesting materials in? That part is simple! A standard suet cage works perfectly, as do the mesh produce bags from the grocery store (the kind apples come in). The Spring Feeder shown here is just that, meant for fruit or suet. We’ve found whole peanuts and our nesting materials work great in them too. Talk about versatility! Put a mixture of materials in several holders and hang them from branches around your yard where the birds will see them. Do pull some materials through to get started, but don’t pack them in too tightly. Birds need to be able to pull them out fairly easily, and should the rain saturate the nesting material, it will dry quickly if air can flow through it. So start gathering… and here’s to many successful broods this season!