How to Attract Birds To Your Yard

One of the best hobbies you can enjoy with your kids, especially when it turns cold outside, is backyard birding. Learning to identify the different species, and understanding their eating habits, can be a lot of fun. And no matter what your habitat, whether you live in the country, the city or the suburbs, backyard birding is something the whole family can enjoy together as you learn more about the birds that live in your neck of the woods.

Tools

  • Bird Feeder
  • Bird Food
  • Bird Bath
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Sponge
  • Bucket
  • Water / Bleach

Steps

  1. How to Attract Birds To Your Yard - Step 1

    Platform feeders have a flat surface where seed can be spread out. It’s ideal for attracting most types of birds, and can be hung or placed on a deck.

  2. How to Attract Birds To Your Yard - Step 2

    Hopper feeders hold large quantities of seed. It offers protection from the elements. Install on a tall pole in an open area.

  3. How to Attract Birds To Your Yard - Step 3

    Seed Tube Feeders, are hollow cylinder-shaped feeders that feature multiple feeding holes and perches.

  4. How to Attract Birds To Your Yard - Step 4

    Large-hole feeders, like this seed screen feeder, are ideal for holding sunflower seeds, which is a favorite food of many backyard birds.

  5. How to Attract Birds To Your Yard - Step 5

    Small-hole feeders are great for holding thistle seed, a favorite of finches. These feeders are great to hang from a Shepherd’s hook in clear view of a window.

  6. How to Attract Birds To Your Yard - Step 6

    Suet feeder baskets are wire cages that hold suet cakes. They are good for attracting woodpeckers, jays, nuthatches and chickadees. They can be hung anywhere.

  7. How to Attract Birds To Your Yard - Step 7

    Place feeders near bird baths to attract more birds.

  8. How to Attract Birds To Your Yard - Step 8

    Keep the feeders and baths clean to protect from spreading disease. Using a bleach-and-water solution works well.

  9. How to Attract Birds To Your Yard - Step 9

    Keep feeders a safe distance away from the reach of predators, such as cats.

  10. How to Attract Birds To Your Yard - Step 10

    Place feeders at several different heights and space them far enough away from each other to prevention competition.

  11. How to Attract Birds To Your Yard - Step 11

    Food ideas: peanuts, peanut butter, thistle, mixed seed, cracked corn, black oil sunflower seed.


Read Video Transcript

One of the best hobbies you can enjoy with your kids, especially when it turns cold outside, is backyard birding. Learning to identify the different species, and understanding their eating habits, can be a lot of fun. And no matter what your habitat, whether you live in the country, the city or the suburbs, backyard birding is something the whole family can enjoy together as you learn more about the birds that live in your neck of the woods.

Today we’re going to learn how to get started feeding birds. We’ll show you some different types of feeders and talk about the different types of bird seed. Then we’ll show you where to place your feeders to attract birds and get the best views. So let’s get started.

When it comes to choosing bird feeders, having a variety of different types of feeders is the best way to attract a variety of birds. Here are just some of the different types of feeders to choose from. This first one is a platform feeder. It has a flat surface where seed can be spread out. It’s ideal for attracting most types of backyard feeder birds, and can either be hung or placed on a deck to attract birds that prefer to feed more at ground level, such as doves, sparrows and jays. These are also great for offering fruits and other non-feeder friendly foods to your fine feathered friends, even leftover baked goods.

This next type of feeder is called a hopper feeder because it’s designed to hold a large quantity of seed. It’s ideal because it offers some protection from the elements, which helps keep the seed dry and fresh for a longer period of time. The best place to put a hopper feeder is on a pole out in an open area, about five or six feet off the ground. It’s also a good idea to install a squirrel baffle below the feeder to make it difficult for squirrels to have easy access to a free meal.

Seed Tube Feeders such as these, are hollow cylinder-shaped feeders, usually made of clear plastic, glass or even wire screen. These feeders feature multiple feeding holes and perches. Large-hole feeders, like this seed screen feeder, are ideal for holding sunflower seeds, which is a favorite food of many backyard birds. Small-hole feeders like this one are great for holding thistle seed, a favorite of finches. These feeders are great to hang from a Shepherd’s hooks in clear view of a window where you can watch the action.

Last, but not least, suet feeder baskets are basically wire cages that hold suet cakes, which provide an alternative food source for birds beyond seed. They are good for attracting woodpeckers, jays, nuthatches and chickadees, and they can be placed anywhere you would hang a feeder.

One of the most important things to remember about feeding backyard birds is they like to wash their food down with some water … even in the winter. Remember to clean and fill your birdbath during winter months to give birds a fresh source of water. A light scrubbing with a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water, followed by a good rinsing, will keep your birdbath disease-free.

Also, to prevent disease, remember to clean your bird feeders on a regular basis. At least once a month, give your feeders a thorough cleaning by washing them in the same bleach/water solution you used for the birdbath. Just ask yourself … would you like to eat out of this filthy birdfeeder? Well, neither would the birds in your backyard. We’ll mix our solution up in this 5-gallon bucket and scrub it with this nylon bristle brush. Afterward, we’ll give it a good rinsing and dry it thoroughly before refilling it with seed. That’s much better.

Wherever you decide to place your feeders, remember to give the birds a break. Don’t place them too close to windows that birds can collide with. And keep them away from areas where predators can pounce. In fact, if you have cats, it’s best to keep them inside if you are actively trying to attract birds.

Also, place feeders at several different heights and levels … on or near the ground in ground feeders, on polls and tree branches, and spread them out across the yard so birds aren’t all flocking to one spot, which can lead to competition, as well as a big mess. For more information on where to place bird feeders, see our list of frequently asked questions for this video.

Be sure to include a variety of menu items in your feeders, including peanuts, thistle, mixed seed, cracked corn, and … the crème de la crème … black oil sunflower seed. It’s widely known among bird enthusiasts that if you have to pick one type of seed to attract birds, it’s black-oil sunflower seeds. This type of seed is widely considered to be the favorite of many types of birds.

Birds also like home cooking from time to time. That’s why we’ve called on our team of chefs to cook up something the birds will absolutely love … peanut butter and cream cheese seed cones. All it requires is spreading some peanut butter or cream cheese on an ordinary pinecone, then rolling it in birdseed until it’s fully coated with seed. Once coated, all you do is tie a string around the end of the pinecone and hang it in a place where birds will easily find it. Now that’s a real treat … for your kids and the birds.

There you have it. Not only will you be spending more time with your kids learning about nature, you’re providing needed food and water for the birds that live where you live, during the time of year when they need it most.

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2 responses to “How to Attract Birds To Your Yard”

  1. chloe says:

    I put a box I found in the garage and painted and decorated it for a birds nest next I found scraps and grains and put that in a cup outside buy the bird house in a cupole of weeks or so a few birds expected the house once it was clear and the bird knew it was ok it lived in the house and now it has baby birds

  2. Sarasvati Blanc says:

    1. cleaning whenh nipple brushummingbird nectar feeders it is recommended to use white distilled vinegar to cleam feeder with small rng any traceemovi ofs mold. bleach canbe harnful to birds. i always use vinnegar instead. Also after mating season is well over clean out birdhouse that has been nested in. a month or so before nestingv season be sure house is clean safe from predators at propr height optning in right sun direction and hang favorite nesting materials for species that nested before or you are likly to attract. month before chesnseason put all food sources away to keep other birds like housesparrows anb house finstars away
    ling

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