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Bird Feeding Tips for All Seasons


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Variety Keeps Your Wild Bird Feeders Packed All Year Long
all is the perfect time to revitalize your backyard bird feeders. Just because the colors of summer have begun to fade, it doesn't mean the variety of seeds Variety Keeps Your Wild Bird Feeders Packed All Year Long
you offer your winged and wild neighbors has to follow suit. True, suet cakes and sunflower seeds – both high in fat and energy – are excellent feed choices that can help most bird species prepare for and survive the coming winter. But, by also keeping other high quality seed mixes available, your backyard is sure to be a winter hotspot for a variety of wild birds.

The key is to find the perfect balance of quantity and quality of offered seeds. Though a flock of finches may have devoured an entire tube feeder worth of thistle on a weekly basis during the summer, they may only eat a portion of that as fall turns into winter. In addition, some seed and mix varieties may spoil faster in the cooler, moisture varying weather, which creates unnecessary waste and could potentially harbor diseases. Simply continue to monitor feeding activity at each of your bird feeders and adjust the offered seed levels accordingly.

Similarly, the style of bird feeder you maintain doesn't need to change throughout the year either. Birds, such as mourning doves and juncos, that tend to ground feed don't change their preferences just because the ground is covered with leaves or snow. True, as leaves or snow begin to fall and potentially fill the feeder, maintaining a ground-style feeder requires a bit more upkeep. But, the rewards of keeping birds in your yard throughout the fall and winter far outweigh the short time it takes each day to clean and replenish your bird feeders.

THERE'S MORE TO FEEDING THAN JUST FOOD
Keeping your wild bird neighbors well fed with a variety of high quality seeds is only part of the year-round bird feeding equation. The best bird feeders are not singular additions randomly placed in your backyard. Instead, the most visited and successful bird feeders are part of a welcoming environment that includes water, shelter, and natural food sources. Whether you've been birding for years or are just beginning to forage into this exciting hobby, keep birds at your feeders during the fall, winter, spring, and summer with:
 Fresh water for drinking and bathing
 Ample cover, preferably provided by native plants and landscaping
 Natural food sources, such as berries, nuts, and fruits, from native plants

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