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Fall Bird Feeding 101

Nuthatch at a feeder
Choosing the right feeder depends on what type of
birds you’re trying to attract, and which seed you’re
filling the feeder with. iStock/Thinkstock

Fall is the perfect time to set up a bird feeding station in your yard. It’s a time of year when the insect supply diminishes and the fruits of summer die away. So when birds spot a well-filled feeder, it will be a welcome sight, whether they’re passing during their migration or searching for reliable food sources to get them through the winter.

This guide will help you set up the perfect feeding station to get ready for the changing season.

Choose the Right Feeder:

Before you shop, it’s important to have an idea of what birds are common in your area and what species you’d like to attract. There’s no need to stop with one.

  • Hopper or “house” feeders do a great job of protecting seed from wind and snow while serving food to a wide variety of species, including jays, cardinals, finches, sparrows, chickadees and more.
  • Tube and nyjer feeders accommodate smaller birds, like finches, chickadees and nuthatches.
  • Suet feeders attract woodpeckers, wrens, and nuthatches.
  • Caged feeders filled with nuts are a woodpecker favorite.

Placement:

When placing feeders, you’ll want to strike a balance between good viewing for you and peaceful dining for the birds. To accomplish this, choose a quiet room where you and family members are least likely to startle the birds with noise and movement.

Multiple bird feeders protected by tree branches
Try hanging multiple feeders in different locations.
Some birds prefer the security tree branches provide,
while others like to dine in the open.Pixabay

Shelter:

Placing a feeder near a coniferous bush or tree gives birds access to food and shelter from brisk winds. Also, if you have nesting boxes or birdhouses in your backyard, leaving them up for the winter gives birds a ready source of shelter.

Just Add Water:

Setting out water for birds in the winter is perfectly safe. In fact, birds often keep a lookout for open sources of water for drinking and keeping their feathers clean. Set out fresh water daily in a bird bath or a large plant saucer. To combat damage to the vessel from freezing temperatures and ice, a container that is made from fiberglass is your best bet in winter. To keep the water from freezing, try a heating element designed for bird baths.

To help the birds maintain their calorie needs to stay warm during the colder months, Lyric’s Fruit and Nut Mix features a high-energy, nutritious blend that will draw in the flocks.

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Lyric Chickadee Mix

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