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bird seed bins

Attracting Birds

Watching birds flying in to eat at your backyard feeders can be a very fun and rewarding experience. Attracting the birds to your feeding station can be difficult, though. Generally, birds first look for food on the ground and the temporary visitors are often timid about feeders on a post. Therefore, it would be worthwhile when first attracting birds to scatter food on the ground in a more natural setting. After your visitors start to come to your area, try using an open tray on a post or traditional feeders. In addition to your open feeder, you could try placing three or more smaller traditional feeders at different heights. To reduce competition, place one type of seed in a given feeder. Keep your feeding station in an area where there may be shrubs, trees or close to a natural setting for birds. Once the birds find your feeders they will provide you with hours of pleasure.

Notes

  • Most birds that prefer sunflower seeds will generally eat from a hanging feeder.
  • Birds preferring cracked corn or millet generally feed on the ground or from large open feeders.
  • Birds feed early in the morning and later in the afternoon. Afternoon feeding helps to build up fat reserves for the long cold nights, then they replenish their supply the next morning.
  • More birds usually appear at the feeders just before a winter storm. Birds probably detect coming storms through changes in barometric pressure.
  • You may want to try cracked wheat or whole peanuts as something different in your feeders.
  • Blue jays have been observed burying peanuts and acorns much like a squirrel would for the winter.


SEED PREFERENCES OF SOME PENNSYLVANIA BIRDS
Blue Jay- peanut kernels, large sunflower seeds, peanut hearts, oil sunflower, cracked corn.
Cardinal – oil sunflower seed, millet, grey-striped sunflower seed.
Chickadee – oil and grey-striped sunflower seeds.
Grosbeaks – oil and grey-striped sunflower seeds, peanut butter.
Gold Finch – oil, large and hulled sunflower seeds, millet and niger.
House Finch – oil sunflower seed, millet, peanut hearts and niger.
Purple Finch – millet, sunflower seeds and niger.
Song Sparrow – red and yellow millet, peanut hearts, oil sunflowers and cracked corn.
Tufted Tit Mouse – sunflower seeds and peanut kernels.
Nuthatches- suet and sunflower seeds.
Pine Siskins – millet, cracked corn and niger.
Juncos – millet, cracked corn and niger.
Morning Dove – millet, cracked corn, sunflower seeds, wheat, oats, rye and buckwheat.
Downy Woodpeckers – suet, peanut hearts, nut meats, peanut butter and fruit (chopped apple, banana raisins).


SUET RECIPE
1/2 animal fat (from your local meat counter)
1/2 peanut butter
Bird seed – enough to make a thick mixture.
Melt the fat down slowly, purify it and let harden. Re-melt and then add peanut butter and seed.

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