I love feeding birds. Over the years I have learned a few tricks.
One: What to feed.
I tried those mixed feeds. The squirrels love them. Birds left it.
I tried meal worms. Ended up composting. Think you need field birds for them, not woodland.
Get quality black oil sunflower. Budget is a lot of chaff, and not really budget.
Mix a little nyger seed in with the black oil. That way it won’t clump and you will make the Finches happy.
Get a little fine corn for the Blue Jays and Mourning Doves. And Purina dog kibble is a real treat.
Don’t buy processed suet if you can help it. Get suet at the grocery store. I did a taste test and real suet won out. Kinda gross to deal with but come’on, it’s for the birds! Even the bear approved.
Two: How to feed.
We live in the woods so I don’t mind seed on the ground. If you do make sure you have a ground feeder. The Jays, Doves, Juncos and Cardinals, seem to prefer ground feeding. I rake up the spillings periodically.
My seed is stored in a squirrel deterring feed bin in our garden shed. I fill an old horse supplement tub with sunflower and about 1/4cup of Nyger and use a feed scoop to fill feeders.
Three: How to set up feeders.
It’s about the view, and safety. We have hawks and owls, so cover is important. Not being altruistic, one set is where birds can be watched while doing dishes. The other is outside the bathroom window so they can be watched while…well you know.
The squirrels don’t frequent these feeders as much as the other group. With four dogs, just not as safe.
My suet feeder is also on this side.
Four: Squirrel defense.
Yes, they can be cute and fun to watch, but they are pigs, and being selfemployed, I cannot afford to feed their gluttony. There are plenty of oak trees you little rats with tails!
This set up may be ugly, but remember, we live in the woods, and it helps.
The feeders are set back to keep the squirrels from running across our roof.
An update. The buggers figured out a way around. Now hanging feeders off a rope. Will see how it works.
Would love to read your thoughts on feeding birds. Drop a comment. Please like and share.
Tracking and birding are my passions. I am learning how to keep a journal of both. Inspired by a webinar: For the Love of Birds. Highly recommend checking it out. http://fortheloveofbirdsfestival.com