The Basics of Attracting Birds

Welcome back to part two of this series! To help birds migrate, you need them to know you’re their friends! If you follow these simple steps, the birds will catch on and come back year after year! I hope you enjoy watching your feathery friends, and please like this post if you do!

The first thing you’ll need for attracting birds is, of course, a yard. If you live in an apartment or condo you won’t be able to do most of these things, but if you live on a lower lever you can still hang bird feeders. If you have a house or yard, continue reading.

Secondly, to attract birds you need to provide a food source, especially during migration! I recommend suet feeders, because you can fill them with old bread or suet. If you would like to attract ground-feeding birds you can make or purchase a platform feeder, perching birds prefer hanging feeders, and insect-eating birds love suet. (I will be writing instructions on making various types of feeders later in this series) If you want to know what kinds of birds prefer which foods, use the following chart:

WILD BIRD SPECIES PREFERRED FOOD READILY EATEN
Quail, Pheasants Cracked Corn Millet, Berries
Pigeons, Doves Millet Sunflower, Milo, Bread, Nuts, Cracked Corn, Thistle
Roadrunners Meat Scraps Suet
Hummingbirds Plant Nectar, Small Insects Sugar Water, commercial instant nectars
Woodpeckers Suet , Meat Scraps, Insects Fruit, Nuts, Sunflower Seed , Sugar Water
Jays Whole Peanuts, Peanut Kernels Sunflower Seed, Suet , Bread Products, Cracked Corn
Crows, Magpies Meat Scraps, Suet Peanuts, Bread Products
Titmice, Chickadees Peanut Kernels, Sunflower Sunflower Seed, Suet, Bread Products
Creepers, Nuthatches Suet, Sunflower, Nuts, Cracked Corn, Bread
Wrens Suet , Peanut Butter, Bread Products, Apples
Mockingbirds, Thrashers Halved Apples, Fruit Bread Products, Suet, Sunflower Seed, Nuts
Robins, Bluebirds,Thrushes Suet , Mealworms, Berries, Water Bread Products, Raisins, Currants, Nut Meal
Purple Martins Mosquitoes, beetles, flies, moths Insects, man-made shelter and a water source is important
Flycatchers, Phoebes Bees, Wasps & Ants Meal Worms
Kinglets Suet Bread Products
Waxwings Berries, Raisins Sliced Apples, Canned Peas, Currants
Warblers Suet , Suet Mix, Water Fruit, Breads, Sugar Water, Nut Pieces
Tanagers Suet , Fruit Sugar Water, Mealworms, Bread Products
Cardinals, Grosbeaks, Buntings Sunflower Seed , Safflower Safflower, Apple, Fruits, Suet , Millet, Breads, Peanut Kernels
Towhees, Juncos Millet, Sunflower Seed Cracked Corn, Peanuts, Bread, Nut Meats
Sparrows Millet, Peanut Kernels, Suet Bread Crumbs, Canary Seed, Sunflower Seed
Blackbirds, Starlings Cracked Corn, Milo, Bread, Suet Millet, Suet, Breads, Cracked Corn, Nut Meats
Orioles Sugar Water, Fruit Pieces Jelly, Suet , Soft Raisins, Orange Halves
Goldfinches, Finches ,Pine Siskins Thistle/Nyjer Seed,Sunflower Hulled Sunflower, Millet, Fruits, Suet , Peanuts
Owls, Raptors Small mammals, small birds, lizards, snakes Water

If you want birds to keep coming and staying in your yard, you will need to provide shelter and places for them to raise young. If you have a yard with lots of trees I wouldn’t worry about that too much, but it can still be decorative to have a few birdhouses. You can make birdhouses (I’ll make a post on that too), buy them, or just paint them.

One of the most important things you need to have in your yard is water. The noisier the water source is, the better. You can add a mister, pump, or dripper to your birdbath to provide the perfect spot.

Lastly, you need to have foliage and trees to really make the perfect habitat. The shrubs and trees selected should be thick enough for cover, but thin enough for birds to move around and escape predators. The branches should also be thick enough to support nests. If you would like a list of the perfect feeder plants for each season, click here.

Thanks for reading! Make sure to comment your favorite tip below.

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