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The Enjoyment of Bird Feeders

Birding is the fastest growing wildlife-related activity in the U.S., and even conservative estimates put the current number of U.S. birders at 50 million. According to the New York Times, some authorities predict that by 2050 there will be more than 100 million.  We love watching their antics and especially enjoy the bright colors of the different species.

Did you know that over 100 North American bird species supplement their natural diets with birdseed, suet, fruit and nectar obtained from feeders?

Bird feeding not only benefits the birds but also gives you a great opportunity to watch the birds from your home or backyard.  The best time to feed birds is in winter when natural food supplies are scarce. But feeding in the summer will attract other species that are nesting, and feeding in the spring and fall will attract migrating birds.

And if you have a garden, having bird feeders is one way to attract birds to complement your outdoor setting. 

There are numerous things to consider when acquiring a feeder and there are many different types of feeders available.  Just doing a search on the web for bird feeders will bring up over one million hits.

There are specific bird feeders that fit the eating habits of specific birds.

Ground feeders are best for birds like Doves, Goldfinches, Cardinals, Juncos, Towhees and Sparrows.

Another type is the Seed Tube Feeders that can hold a mixture of seeds or some come partitioned so each partition can hold one type of seed.  These feeders tend to draw  chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, goldfinches, siskins and purple and house finches.

Yet another type of bird feeder is the Suet feeder.  Titmice, Chickadees, Nuthatches and Woodpeckers love to eat suet cake.

Hopper feeders will attract larger birds like Jays, Grackles, Red-Winged Blackbirds and Cardinals.

With so many birds and bird feeders available, you need to consider several things:

  1. What kinds of birds do you want to attract
  2. What kind of feeder should you get for your choice of birds
  3. How much effort do you want to put into setting up the feeder
  4. How much are you willing to spend

Then buy your feeder accordingly.

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Donald Dean

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The Enjoyment of Bird Feeders

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