Bird feeding is a hobby enjoyed by over 48 million Americans! And there’s little wonder why. Bird feeding is relaxing and exciting at the same time. You can watch the birds from inside or outside. You can have only one bird feeder, or several. You can feed one kind of bird food or experiment with many bird foods. How you enjoy your new hobby is totally up to you. But once you start feeding and attracting birds into your yard, everyday brings something new, along with a lot of color and activity!
So how can you get started on this wonderful hobby? We have a few suggestions for you to get you going in no time.
First, you’ll need a bird feeder. There are many options here, but for someone just starting out, we recommend a simple tube feeder. These feeders are uncomplicated, well-liked by birds, and are lightweight so they can be hung almost anywhere. Duncraft’s Original Tube Feeder has been a best seller for years. It’s an excellent quality feeder at an affordable price.
Next, you’ll need bird seed. Again, there are countless foods you can offer the birds, but you absolutely can’t go wrong with pure black oil sunflower seed. Backyard birds love them! This seed is inexpensive and extremely nourishing. When you feed these seeds, you can be sure you’re providing excellent nutrition for the birds. Be careful about buying bird seed at your grocery store. Often it has many seeds in it that birds won’t eat and you’ll be wasting your money.
Once you have your bird feeder filled and hung and have started to attract a few birds, there are a few more basics you might like to offer. While not immediately necessary, another food that birds love is suet—especially in winter. There are a number of ways to feed suet, but the easiest is to purchase suet cakes that fit in an inexpensive suet basket and hang that near your seed feeder. Some birds, like woodpeckers, simply crave suet!
One other seed that could be considered part of a basic feeding plan is Nyjer seed, sometimes incorrectly called thistle seed. It’s not the seed from a thistle plant, but it’s similar. It’s extremely small seed that goldfinches adore! It needs to be offered in a special feeder so the seeds won’t fall out. There are many types of Nyjer feeders, but the most inexpensive is a sock-like feeder. Goldfinches especially love clinging to these socks to get their very favorite food.
At some point, you may also want to offer water to round out your feeding area. We highly recommend buying a heated birdbath right from the start so the birds can have water year-round. You could start with any birdbath and add a heater later for winter but a heated bath is much more convenient and you won’t have to worry about the heater not being completely submerged at all times. And not all regular birdbaths can accept a separate heater because of the materials they’re made with. If you want to offer water year-round, splurging on a heated birdbath is definitely the way to go.
Once you’ve completed your basic feeding area, and have started watching the birds, we’re sure you’ll soon have a wish list of your own! In closing, we’d like to offer a few tips to really enhance your experience with the birds:
Keep your bird feeder clean at all times. Check frequently to make sure there aren’t any moldy seeds in there and that it’s free of bird droppings. Clean bird feeders mean healthy birds. Keep the water in your birdbath fresh and free of debris also. Birds need clean water to drink and bathe in. Lastly, check your suet to make sure it’s not dripping in the heat or has gotten moldy for some reason and replace it if it’s not still fresh.
That’s all it really takes to start enjoying the birds! Shop duncraft.com for bird feeders, bird seed, birdbaths and more.