As growing plants, insects and worms start emerging, you may wonder if it’s time to put away the bird feeders until fall. We say keep those feeders filled! Birds still visit them during the warm months, and by keeping them out, you'll get to experience new visitors and new sightings.

Meet the babies

Bird feeders let you see juvenile birds up close. When birds leave the nest, they often tag along with Mom and Dad for a couple of weeks. As the parents take a protein break at your feeder, you may see their youngsters hovering nearby, flapping their wings and squawking for a bite to eat.

View more species

Summertime means more birds to look at. While we appreciate the chickadees and cardinals that grace our winter feeders, spring migration brings many new bird species to your neighborhood. Grosbeaks, tanagers and buntings are just a few colorful visitors that might come in for a landing.

Don’t worry, they won’t get lazy

Some worry that feeding birds in the warm season — when there are insects and growing things aplenty — makes them more dependent on humans. But research shows that isn’t the case. There’s an abundance of evidence that birds are hard-wired to choose from a variety of food sources.

Tips for warm-weather bird feeding

Do put away the suet: The fat that serves as the binding agent doesn’t hold up well in summer heat and is prone to spoilage.

Keep the feeders clean: Clean feeders help keep germs and diseases at bay. Every two weeks, discard the old seed and wash the feeder with soap and warm water, followed by a plunge into a diluted bleach solution (one part bleach to nine parts water). Rinse and allow to air dry before you reassemble and fill with fresh seed.

Keep an eye on freshness: Bird seed spoils more easily in warm weather, so make sure the birds always have access to fresh, clean food. Store seed in a cool, dry place, and hang feeders in the shade as much as possible.

Lyric Delite Mix is the summertime favorite for birds and the humans that love them. This filler-free mix is packed with fresh ingredients, including shelled peanuts, sunflower kernels, pecans, pistachios and shelled pumpkin seeds that many bird species love. Because it’s shell-free, there's no mess to clean up.