Oro Valley, Arizona

Get Started Feeding The Birds!

Feeding the birds can be as simple as placing a feeder full of seed in your yard and waiting for them to find it.

Feeders come in a wide variety of materials and styles. There are hopper feeders, platform feeders, suet feeders, tube feeders and specialty feeders designed to supply bird food to birds.

There are several ways in which birds feed. The three basic niches for feeding preferences of birds covers the variety of birds that backyard birdfeeders will attract across North America.

Birds Feeding on the Ground
If you are interested in feeding birds on the ground level should use a seed blend high in millet, which is designed to attract ground-feeding birds such as doves, sparrows, towees and Quail.

Birds Feeding at the Feeder
If you are interested in feeding birds at elevated levels, use a blend that contains little or no millet, and contain seeds such as oil sunflower, striped sunflower, and safflower and is designed to attract birds such as house finches, cardinals, cactus wrens, thrashers and pyrrhuloxia that feed at higher levels.

Birds Feeding at the Feeder and on the Ground
If you are interested in feeding birds at both ground and elevated levels, use a blend designed to attract a variety of birds that feed at both levels and contains a moderate amount of millet and other seeds attractive to birds. This blend should attract the greatest variety of birds to any one feeding station including cardinals, sparrows, finches and wrens.

Things to remember when getting started

If you have not yet been feeding birds in your backyard, it may take from one day to several months before the birds in your area discover your new feeder. Be patient and consider the following:

• It is important that you use a seed type or seed blend based on the birds in your area.
• Birds generally find their food by sight. Placing your feeder where it will be visible to them should decrease the time it takes for birds to start feeding.
• Sometimes sprinkling some seed on the ground or on top of the feeder will let the birds know that you are open for business (do this sparingly as you may attract too many dove.
• Remember to keep your feeders clean (warm soapy water and a non-abrasive cloth work best) and change the seed at least once per month if the birds have not begun eating.
• Birds tend to choose their food by preference.

It is good to understand what kind of backyard habitat you have and what birds you might attract depending on the season. There are also situations that exist (squirrels, starlings, sparrows, pigeons/dove etc.) that may increase or decrease the enjoyment you receive from bird watching. Birds may be challenged by problems (house and feral cats and birds of prey) while trying to feed at feeders.

Call (520-878-9585) or stop by our store to get answers to these and other questions from our Certified Bird Feeding Specialists.

Enjoy your birds!