WindStar Wildlife Institute
Feeding birds can provide entertainment and
enjoyment for people of all ages. You can
attract birds to your backyard throughout the
year, but the most important time to help the
birds is during the winter.
n the spring and summer, birds
feed on insects which are
plentiful. Cold temperatures and
snow limit the food available and
put extra demands on birds to
Feeding should be restricted to
feeders and not simply thrown on
the ground. There are a variety of
seeds and foods that attract
The development of black oil
sunflower seeds revolutionized
bird feeding. It is the single
favorite and most nutritious food
for birds. Adding specialty foods
to feeders will attract even a
wider variety of birds.
In the summer, for example,
sugar water attracts
hummingbirds. Fruit brings
northern orioles, waxwings, blue
jays, and thrashers. Meal worms
can lure in bluebirds.
In the spring and fall, thistle
seed will attract the Harris'
sparrow and red-breasted
nuthatch. A mixture of black oil
sunflower and thistle attracts
evening grosbeaks, red polls, and
pine siskens during the winter.
Niger thistle attracts purple,
house, and goldfinches all year
long. Suet will be utilized regularly
by woodpeckers, nuthatches, and
Placement of your feeder is as
important as what you put in it.
First, consider where you want to
watch your birds. Is it by a
window, on a glass door, or on the
second story. Pick a location
that is easily accessible for filling
with food and out of the wind.
Also consider the mess that
empty and spilled seeds will
cause below the feeder.
Finally, keeping unwanted
predators such as stray cats
away from your feeder is
important. Cats kill millions of
songbirds annually and should be
prevented from climbing near
feeders. Locate your feeder at
least 4-5 ft. away from
overhanging tree limbs, fencing, or
This practice may also prevent
squirrels from climbing on the
feeder. The addition of a predator
guard on the support pole may
also prevent unwanted visitors.
is a Great Pastime