Some birds are wary of the presence of people, scattering from the feeder if you so much as shift your sitting position. Others don’t seem to mind if you’re watching from a safe distance. Here are five backyard species that are less shy about coming in for a closer look
If you’re new to backyard birding, one of the first birds to know and watch is the chickadee. They’re the first to snack from a new bird feeder, well before warier species venture in for a bite. If you’re relaxing on the deck, they may even hop down into the lower branches of a tree or the deck rail to check you out. This speaks to their investigative nature, and how it serves them well. A chickadee will lurk near a woodpecker’s work area so they can snap up any insects that come flying out. Other bird species follow the foraging flocks of chickadees in the winter to help them find food.
The Blue Jay is a large songbird familiar to many due to its blue appearance and noisy calls. Blue Jays carry a reputation for being a more intelligent yet aggressive bird, however, this is only territorial aggression such as near their nests or sources of food. Blue Jays prefer tray feeders as opposed to hanging feeders. Their food of choice includes sunflower seeds, peanuts, and insects. Blue Jays and many of the jay species also love peanuts in the shell. Hold some out in your hand and see if you can entice your backyard Blue Jay to visit!
Learn more about the Blue Jay.
The White-breasted Nuthatch is an entertaining, acrobatic bird, often referred to as the ‘upside-down bird’ due to its tendency to run headfirst down tree trunks. These birds prefer to wedge their food (seeds, nuts, insects) in between cracks and crevices of a tree, then hack at it with their strong beaks to open them up. Similar to the Blue Jay, the White-breasted Nuthatch is very diverse and adaptable to many different environments. If you’re interested in getting backyard birds to eat from your hand, the White-breasted Nuthatch is known to come around and check out the black oil sunflower seeds and other snacks offered in your outstretched palm. To improve your odds of success, head outside the same time each day, holding as still as a statue.
Get to know the White-breasted Nuthatch.
Have you ever worn a brightly colored shirt that caught the attention of a hummingbird? They’ll hover close to investigate and confirm that, no, your clothing is not a source of delicious nectar. Try offering a hand-held feeder to see if you can convince one to helicopter in for a quick sip — and a thrilling up-close look.
The Red-bellied Woodpecker is one of the more fashionable birds you can spot in your backyard due to its vibrant red crown. Though its name may come across as a bit misleading, a closer look at the belly of our small friends shows small strands of red hair peeking through. Red-bellied Woodpeckers can be located in the eastern half of the United States. During the winter, you can often find them foraging for berries, seeds, or nuts. One of the best ways to draw in a Red-bellied Woodpecker is with hanging feeders filled with their favorite snacks such as suet, sunflower seeds, peanuts, tree nuts, fruit, and cracked corn.
Learn more about the Red-bellied Woodpecker.
Looking to attract more birds? Start with a premium brand that packs every bag with the good stuff that draws a crowd. Lyric Supreme Wild Bird Mix features a variety of seeds and nuts, sunflower kernels, black oil sunflower seeds, and other energy nuggets that entice birds to fly in for a snack!