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Wild Bird Feeding Basics

Need a new hobby?  Let’s feed the birds:

Feeding the birds is very gratifying.  I have done it for years, and just keep adding more feeders to my area.  It is so much fun seeing the grosbeaks return after winter.  I also have been able to keep my bluebirds all winter, which is awesome.

If you have never fed the birds, let me help you start with some basic ways to begin.  After that you can keep adding and growing your bird habitat, and I hope you will write me and send me pictures of your success.

Now a days, we have a wide variety of different seeds and mixes.  If there are certain birds you want to attract, then you will need to have certain seeds, like safflower for cardinals.  Everyone loves sunflower, and it really doesn’t matter if you feed the small oil sunflower, or the large striped sunflower.  They aren’t picky.

To start, I would suggest feeding a seed mix with a good amount of sunflower, some safflower, peanuts, and millet.  Here at Copley Feed, we have the Oliger Wild Bird Banquet that has all these seeds mixed together.  This will attract many different types of birds to your backyard and get you off to a good start.

If you want to attract the goldfinches, you will want to have Niger seed (thistle), or a mix of niger, sunflower chips, and canary seed.  Don’t worry, the niger seed is sterilized before they can ship it into the U.S., so you won’t have thistles growing everywhere.

To make your new habitat complete, be sure to have a nice bird bath available.   Keep fresh water available for drinking and bathing daily.

What types of bird feeders are good for beginners:

When customers come in and ask what type of feeder they should get, I recommend the beginner bird habitat should have a wooden or recycled plastic type of bird feeder, I also like to have a tubular type feeder.  Both of these are for regular seed mixes that may contain cracked corn, sunflower, millet, safflower, peanuts, etc.  All of your birds can feed from these types of feeders.

If you are wanting to attract the goldfinches to your yard, you will want to get a finch feeder for them.  The holes are much smaller, to keep the bigger birds from feeding on it.  Goldfinches stay here in Ohio year round.  They turn to their beautiful gold in March and then turn to a green/brown in the fall.

There are many different styles of bird feeders, but I like to recommend the “unfancy” ones when you are just beginning.  The birds seem to come to them better, and once your birds get established, you can bring in the fancy feeders to help decorate your habitat.

Now you can sit back, relax, and enjoy watching your new birds this year!


2 thoughts on “Wild Bird Feeding Basics

  1. Great information Nancy, thanks for sharing. The hummingbirds came back to our house this year, and we have plenty of cardinals again. We need to do some research on birds in the south so we know what to work on attracting

    1. Great to hear that!

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