(Content from Gardeners Supply Company)

Flower pots home>gardening articles>bird feeders

Feeding the birds is a great way to bring wildlife closer to home. By installing a variety of birdfeeders and providing appropriate habitat, you will be able to attract many different types of birds to watch and enjoy throughout the year. During the winter months, you will attract birds that overwinter in your area and help them survive a tough time of year. When spring arrives, look for birds to nest and raise their young nearby. In the summer, you'll be able to enjoy watching adult birds bring their young to your feeders.

Birdfeeder Basics

Not all birds like the same kind of feed from the same kind of seed or the same kind of birdfeeder. So it's not surprising that the more types of food and bird feeders you provide, the more birds you will attract. The most successful feeding stations include an assortment of feeders at different heights to best stimulate the way birds feed in the wild. Here are the four primary kinds of feeders: If you feel up to it and are handy with your hands, take a look at these bird feeder plans that will inspire you to build a spot just for the birds.

Platform Bird Feeders

Ground-feeding birds will feed off platform feeders that are either directly on the ground or elevated by several feet. Try offereing white proso millet if you want to attract field sparrows, tree sparrows or juncos. Black-oil sunflower seed will attract a wide variety of other ground-feeding birds such as cardinals and grosbeaks.

Perching Birdfeeders

These hanging or pole-mounted feeders feature separate feeding ports with a 1- to 2-inch perch. They will attract a wide variety of perching birds. Mounting the feeder at a height of 5 to 6 feet will suit most species. Black-oil sunflower seed is the hands-down favorite of most seed-eating birds and will attract chickadees, cardinals, titmice and nuthatches. Thistle seed appeals to goldfinches, pine siskins and purple finches. If squirrels are a problem, consider installing a squirrel baffle, or purchasing a Birdseed Vault.Ornamental bird feeders are another option. They're made from seed-covered pinecones, seed-covered birdhouses or seed that's been compressed into a particular shape.

View all birdfeeders, visit Bird feeders

Suet bird feeders

Suet cakes are made from ground beef fat, often supplemented with seeds or berries. They provide a great source of energy for insect-eating birds, such as woodpeckers, bluebirds and nuthatches. Hang suet cakes from tree branches using a suet feeder or a mesh bag. Suet should only be offered during the colder months so it won't melt or spoil.

Hummingbird feeders

With their tiny, colorful bodies and incredible speed, hummingbirds are perhaps the most exciting type of bird you can attract to your garden. They primarily feed on the sweet nectar of flowers, such as delphinium, cardinal flower, bee balm and columbine. Most hummingbird feeders feature a refillable nectar reservoir and feeding ports that are red (a color that attracts hummingbirds). Hummingbird Feeders should be cleaned each week to avoid bacterial contamination, which can harm hummingbirds.

Bird Habitat Basics

Birds need more than just the food your feeders provide. They also need shelter, water and natural food sources. In fact, studies show that even a bird that regularly visits your winter birdfeeders will only get about a quarter of its food there. Yards with a variety of perennials, shrubs and trees will support far more birds than those dominated by lawns, which is great news for you because it means you have another excuse to add more plants and trees to your garden!

Shelter for the birds

Birds spend much of their time feeding, especially in the winter, but they also need to rest -- and nest. To keep birds in your yard year-round, provide lots of shelter options and places to raise young. Some shelters, such as the double as bird feeders - like the proverbial gingerbread house. When spring comes, hang a small basket filled with nesting materials, such as dryer lint, dog hair or 6-inch lengths of yarn. Put these nesting materials near bird feeders, on a tree branch, on the ground, or in Nesting Pockets.

View all birdhouses, visit Birdhouses

Water for the birds

No bird-friendly yard is complete without a birdbath. Birds need water all year around for drinking and bathing, and preening their feathers to ensure adequate insulation. A heated birdbath will keep the water open even when the temperature drops well below zero.

View all birdbaths, visit Birdbaths.

Flower pots home>gardening articles>bird feeders

birdfeeders,bird feeders