A Beginner's Guide To Backyard Birding
When you're looking at setting up a bird feeder, there is a number of things that you should look at and invest in. First off, you should learn your local birds. Some popular species that frequent backyards in our area include northern cardinal, black-capped chickadee, mourning dove, house finch, blue jay, white breasted nuthatch, Baltimore oriole, downy woodpecker, and the chipping sparrow. Then, when you're familiar with what types of birds are in your area, you need to choose a bird feeder and your bird seed. Once you've assembled everything together, it's a simple matter of installation and maintenance.
Choosing a Bird Feeder
For the most part, unless you're trying to attract a specific type of bird, such as an oriole or a hummingbird, most birdfeeders will attract a wide variety of birds. It's the seed that matters more when it comes to attracting the birds. However, there are some things to think about when considering a bird feeder - material, aesthetics, and
Choosing Bird Seed
Placing Your Bird Feeder
There are a few things you should consider when you're placing your birdfeeder.
Can you see your bird feeder? One of the main attractants when it comes to having a bird feeder is actually being able to watch the birds. What's the point in attracting all that colourful plumage and birdsong if you can't see or hear it?
Is the bird feeder feeder in a safe location? You're setting up a bird feeder, not an all-you-can-eat buffet for the rest of the local wildlife. By putting your feeder closer to shrubs and trees (such as evergreens), you're offering shelter and refuge if a predator happens to come along. However, you don't want it too close - if squirrels, raccoons, can use branches to access it, you'll end up with a problem.
Oddly enough, having a bird feeder closer to your windows is considered safer - odds are if the bird hits it, they won't be going full speed and will have a better chance of surviving.. Either put it within 3 feet, or around 30 feet. A south-eastern exposure is also best. Humminbird feeders should be placed out of direct sunlight, out of reach of cats, and in sheltered areas away from wind.
Common Feeding Problems
*Wet feed - leads to bacterial, mold growth, or insect infestation
*Unclean feeders - feeders that are dirty can lead to bacterial growth, mold growth, and insect infestation that can make birds ill.
*Inappropriate locations for bird feeders
*The presence of predators, or squirrels "poaching" from the bird feeder.
Have more questions? Check out our handy dandy True Or False myth page on bird feeding and bird feeder care here.