Bird watching is a great relaxing day to learn about wildlife, enjoy the outdoors and enjoy that most fun of activities, sitting quietly and occasionally ticking things off a list. I’d recommend it to anyone. A lot of the time though, to find the rarer and more interesting birds, you have to do a fair bit of travelling, going out to bird hides in distant forests, staying u until the crack of dawn to hear the early morning bird song, and generally going to what feels like are too much effort.
This is why bird feeders are such as excellent invention. Why go out looking or the birds if you can instead tempt them to come to you?
And so we have the quite wonderful concept of the bird feeder, a juicy morsel that will tempt the best in avian wildlife to come and sit where you can watch them from the comfort of your own back garden. But how do you make a bird feeder that’s going to attract an interesting mix of species?
Well, here are a few tips that can help.
Place it Somewhere You Can See it
You’ve set up this bird feeder so you can watch birds, so there’s no point hiding it away. Make sure the bird feed is somewhere that is clearly visible from the windows of your house, so that you don’t even need to go to the trouble of stepping outside to watch the birds.
Build up from the Basics
There’s no point getting fancy when you’re first starting out filling your birdfeed. Begin with simple black-oil sunflower seeds, they have a broad appeal and will bring in a wide range of birds to start off with.
Mix it up a Bit
After a while you can broaden the appeal of your bird feeder by adding new kinds of seed into the mix. Hulled sunflower as well as black-oil sunflower, for instance. Even whole peanuts are popular with some birds, although these are best or platform feeders rather than the tube shaped dispensers.
You don’t need to restrict yourself to seeds either. Fruit, nectar, mealworms and suet are all attractive to various species of bird, and will ensure you get a varied crowd hanging out there.
Change with the Seasons
My favourite pub tends to put light ales and IPAs on during the summer, than more stouts and ports during the winter. At different times of year you expect different clientele, and the same goes for your bird feed.
Some birds migrate, some simply eat different amounts depending on the year, read up on this and alter the mix of your bird feed accordingly.
Give it the Right Ambience
Of course my favourite pub isn’t my favourite pub just because of the great beer. They also have nice furniture, friendly staff, nice pictures on the walls. It’s a real cosy place to drink. The same goes for your bird feed. It’s not just about the seeds, it’s about what’s around the seeds. Are there nest boxes where birds can set up shop all year round? Is the bird feed far enough off the ground that the mischievous and homicidal cat from next door can’t get at it? Are the windows nearby marked in such a way that birds won’t go colliding face first with the glass? Are they are any large trees or shrubs nearby? These are questions your birds will be interested in the answers to, and if you give them the answers they want they’ll flock to you.
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