More Tips on Feeding Wild Birds … Make-Your-Own Bird Feeders (fun projects with the kids)
Ground Feeders: Sparrows, juncos, doves, and bobwhites prefer to feed on the ground, and all you have to do is scatter the seed there. A tree stump or a knee-high table will do as well. However, ground feeding is unsanitary and may attract rodents, unless the ground is concrete that can be disinfected / sanitized.
Window Feeders: A fun feeding option for anyone who wants to attract smaller birds and observe them close-up. Also entertaining for indoor pets (birds and cats) who enjoy the action outside the window. There are also hummingbird feeders that can be attached to windows.
Tube Feeders are plastic seed-filled tubes with feeding ports and perches. Some are enclosed in wire cages. Hang from a tree limb or mount on a post.
- Thistle tube feeders have extra-small openings to dispense thistle seed (niger seed), a favorite of smaller birds (such as finches).Sunflower tube feeders (particularly filled with Black Oil Sunflower seeds) attract larger birds, such as nuthatches, grosbeaks, titmice and woodpeckers
- Chickadees, pine siskins, red polls, and goldfinches use both types of tube feeders.
Regular Hopper / House Feeders will attract:
Hopper feeders look like small houses, with a roof that covers a large storage area for seed. Hopper feeders are attractive to many types of seed-eating birds, but they’re especially suited for larger birds, such as blue jays, grosbeaks, cardinals, and woodpeckers.
Hang from a tree limb or mount on a post.
Hanging Peanut Feeder will attract: chickadees / titmice … woodpeckers
Suet Feeders will attract:
Hanging Suet Feeder will attract: cardinals … chickadees … creepers … kinglets … nuthatches … starlings … thrashers … woodpeckers … wrens
Peanut Butter Suet will attract: bluebirds … cardinals … goldfinches … kinglets … jays … juncos … starlings … thrushes … woodpeckers … wrens
Platform (or Tray) Feeders are open trays with raised edges. Use one with drainage holes to prevent seeds from rotting. This type of feeder attracts seed-eating birds, but is especially appealing for ground feeders. Place tray feeders on or near the ground .
They will attract:
Tray or Platform Feeder with Corn will attract: bobwhite quail … doves … grackles … sparrows … jays … juncos … ring-necked pheasants and other pheasants … grouse … starlings
Platform Feeder or Tube Feeder and Tray with Peanuts will attract: cardinals … grackles … jays … starlings… titmice
Note: Peanuts are often contaminated with aflatoxin, a fungal toxin. Aflatoxin is carcinogenic and causes liver damage in birds and other animals. Roasting reduces aflatoxin but does not eliminate it entirely.
North American peanut producers are currently working on eliminating contaminated peanuts from their products.
Especially peanuts with dark spots on them should be considered suspect, but even those that look clean and perfect could possibly be contaminated.
Tray or Platform Feeder with Millet will attract: blackbirds … doves … juncos … towhees .. purple finches … evening grosbeaks … sparrows … cowbirds