Be it a feeder for seed mixes, or nectar feeder for hummingbirds, attracting and watching backyard birds is simply good for the soul!
We’re not sure if the popular pastime is something that coincides with age or the crazy world of being hyper-connected all the time… maybe a bit of both perhaps?
A bird feeder makes life sweeter, though it’s hard to put your finger on the actual feeling of how. Unplugging, communing with nature (from the comfort of your home), being detached from daily chaos… it’s a connection that’s intangible. And until you’ve tried enticing birds with a feeder or two, it’s difficult to explain. It is a well known fact however that many folks become hooked, simply addicted to backyard bird watching!
The kind of “learn as you go” hobby, there’s not a whole lot you can do wrong, but there are a few easy hacks to make the experience more enjoyable.
With migratory birds now making their way across the gulf and lower states to summer breeding grounds, many folks eagerly await their arrivals. Hummingbirds, orioles, martins and others will be welcomed with opened arms, specialty housing and bird feeders made just for them! These birds generally claim the same territories every season, something John James Audubon discovered in the 1800’s using a simple silver thread for banding a few birds!
Baffles: Foil squirrels before they become a problem! Baffles work beautifully if used correctly!
Feed Clean: Birds are like little kids and go for the good stuff. If using cheap birdseed, you can bet much of it will land on the ground. The fillers aren’t nearly as tasty as the main seed, so why not just buy better quality seed? Seed trays also assist in a clean feeding strategy.
Ant Moats: Need we say more when feeding hummingbirds? The ever critical accessory helps keep nectar fresh and pest-free. Because ants can’t swim, hummingbirds and hosts will be much happier!
Make Your Own: Nectar for hummingbirds, orioles, even butterflies. It’s just pure cane sugar and water with different ratios. Mix up a batch of suet and store in the fridge, same for Bluebird Banquet. Use recipes which omit lard for summer feeding as the gunk will turn rancid in heat.
Cleanliness is important for your feeders and the areas around them. Because birds gather in unnatural groups at feeders, disease is spread more easily. Keep any bird feeder free from nasty build-up of bacteria and mold… they’re air-born killers for birds via respiratory infections. Keep ground below feeders clear of spilled seed as well.
Add some fresh water in a bird bath and keep it shallow, plant saucers works great! And for those who “don’t feed the birds in summer” you’re the one who’s missing out. The birds can get along just fine without your bird feeders, but scenes of parents with fledgelings are most entertaining, something you won’t see in winter!
Happy Spring… now go Feed the Birds 🙂