|photo by Frank Vincentz / license|
Activity: Bird feeding is typically thought of as an activity of bird enthusiasts. People who feed wild birds often attempt to attract birds to suburban and domestic locations. This requires setting up a feeding station and supplying bird food. The food might include seeds, peanuts, bought food mixes, fat, kitchen scraps and suet. Additionally, a bird bath and grit (sand), that birds store in their crops to help grind food as an aid to digestion, can be provided.
Feeding bread to waterfowl at parks, lakes and rivers is also a popular activity.
Types: Certain foods tend to attract certain birds. Finches and Siskin will be attracted by niger, and Jays love corn. Hummingbirds love nectar. Mixed seed attracts many birds. Black oil sunflower seed is favoured by many seed-eating species. Different feeders can be purchased specialized for different species.
Garden birds can be fed using peanuts, seed, coconut or fat using a variety of feeders.
After the station is established, it can take some weeks for birds to discover and start using it. This is particularly true if the feeding station is the first one in an area or (in cold-winter areas) if the station is being established in spring when natural sources of food are plentiful. Therefore, beginners should not completely fill a feeder at first. The food will get old and spoil if it is left uneaten for too long. This is particularly true of unshelled foods, such as thistle seed and suet. Once the birds begin taking food, the feeder should be kept full. Additionally, people feeding birds should be sure that there is a source of water nearby. A bird bath can attract as many birds as a feeding station. wikipedia
- National Wildlife Federation Backyard Wildlife Habitat
- Project FeederWatch
- RSPB information regarding feeding and the dangers of net bags
- Seed Preference
- WikiHow: How to Stop Squirrels From Eating Your Bird Seed