Feeding wild birds in the backyard is a great way to bring the family closer together with an activity that can be enjoyed by all. Watching birds in the backyard helps reconnect with nature and provides a break from today's hectic lifestyles.
Young children are drawn naturally to the activities involved in feeding wild birds and adults enjoy the relaxation and peacefulness afforded by watching birds. Backyard bird feeding is an easy hobby to start. It can be as simple as mounting a single feeder outside a window and filling it with a good-quality birdseed mix or a single-type feeder designed to attract a specific bird.
Providing food, water and shelter helps birds survive the winter, benefits the environment and supplements wild birds' natural diet of weed seeds and harmful insects. Here are some tips offered by the English Gardens experts and the National Bird Feeding Society for attracting birds to your yard:
- Make your garden bird friendly by providing shelter from the elements and predators, water, food and housing. Many natural bird habits are lost to residential and commercial development. Planting appropriate trees and shrubs, as well as setting up a feeder and water source will help attract birds to the area.
- Keep feeders cleaned and filled with a good quality bird food. Birds like different diets, so make sure you're providing food that's preferred by birds in our area. Check with English Gardens experts for their recommendations. Clean feeders and the areas around them at least once a month.
- Move feeders periodically to help prevent the buildup of waste on the ground. Scrub birdbaths with a brush and replace the water every three to five days. Rake up and dispose of seed hulls under feeders. Wash your hands after filling or cleaning feeders.
- Keep the feeder area clear of snow and ice during the winter. Stamp down the snow underneath feeders to help groundfeeding birds like doves and cardinals. Consider a bird bath heater for bird baths to provide a source of water during the winter.