The Bird HouseBackyard Birding Basics

You'll be on your way to attracting more birds when you provide these three basics:

  1. FOOD - Provide fresh seed, nectars, fruits, nuts and suet. Keep your feeders filled or birds will move on.
  2. WATER - Keep a bird bath filled with clean, fresh water. In cold climates, use a bird bath de-icer to prevent this crucial water source from freezing.
  3. SHELTER - Choose birdhouses made for the types of birds you want to attract. Hang them where birds can nest safe from predators.

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Birds
BluebirdIndigo BuntingCardinalGrosbeakHummingbirdOrioleGoldfinchHousefinchDowny WoodpeckerChickadeeTitmouseNuthatchRobin

Bluebird

Populations have taken a hit. Providing preferred food and shelter are two ways to help. They like mealworms when nesting — dish feeders are great for this. Platform feeders serve the fruit and nut blends they like in winter. Nesting boxes without a perch and with 11/2 or 19/16 openings help keep out predators.

SHOP FOOD SHOP FEEDERS/HOUSES

Indigo Bunting

Attract these brilliant blue birds by placing feeders near bushes and small shrubs. They're not too picky, and will come to tube feeders filled with thistle and finch seed mixes. You'll also see them at hopper and platform feeders serving up sunflower seeds and white millet.

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Cardinal

Instead of migrating south, they stick around all year. Favorite treats include black oil sunflower seed, safflower or blends with these seeds. They're larger birds and like room to perch, so serve up the seed in platform or hopper feeders or tube or screen feeders with larger perches.

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Grosbeak

Attracted to woodland and forest edges, you can entice them to close in on your yard with sunflower seed, safflower and peanuts. Serve up the seed in platform or tube feeders or hopper feeders with large, open perches.

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Hummingbird

Plant flowers and flowering shrubs in your yard to attract these nectar-lovers. Place feeders nearby filled with fresh liquid nectar. Concentrated powder or ready-to-use formulas mix easily and may be fortified with nutrients to help with egg development. Vivid red feeding ports and nectar can catch their attention. Special ports and ant moats can keep insects out of the sweet nectar.

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Oriole

Fruit, nectar and insects are their favorites. Plant fruiting shrubs and trees and nectar-bearing flowers like trumpet vines to attract them. Feeders are designed to hold liquid oriole nectar, jellies or ripe oranges and berries. Mix up some nectar from concentrated powder or ready-to-use nectar mix. Fill your feeder with fresh liquid and refrigerate the leftovers.

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American Goldfinch

The only bird that molts its feathers twice a year, their appearance welcomes in spring. Finch socks, screen feeders and finch feeders contain the tiny thistle, Nyjer and finch seed mixes they love. Hopper feeders dispense larger black oil sunflower they share a craving for with other birds.

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House Finch

They use their big beaks and tongue to crack shells and get to seed meat. They like thistle, Nyjer, millet and finch seed mixes. You'll need a finch sock, screen feeder or finch feeders to contain these tiny seeds. Hopper feeders serve the larger black oil sunflower they also like.

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Downy Woodpecker

Frequent visitors to yards with mature trees or wooded areas. Tube, hopper or screen feeders filled with a variety of seed blends with striped sunflower, black oil sunflower, millet and peanuts will attract them. They especially love suet cakes and nuggets. A suet feeder with an extended base gives them space as they feed to brace their long tails.

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Chickadee

They tend to be the first birds to discover a tube, screen or hopper feeder in your yard filled with wild bird mixes, peanuts or black oil sunflower. They'll also snack on suet cakes in suet cage-feeders and will help themselves to mealworms in dish feeders.

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Titmouse

They'll stop by a tube, platform or hopper feeder with wild bird mix that contains peanuts, safflower, Nyjer or black oil sunflower. They'll also land to snack on suet cakes in suet cage-feeders and mealworms in dish feeders.

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Nuthatch

They'll stop at tube, platform or hopper feeders to grab large seed, peanuts or black oil sunflower. Then, they'll take their food to a tree trunk and wedge it into the bark to crack out the seed with their bill, or to stash it for later. They'll also visit suet cage-feeders and dish feeders filled with mealworms. Their odd, jerky sideways and upside-down movements will have you doing a double-take.

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Robin

Usually you'll spot them at the birdbath or on the ground feeding on earthworms or hunting for insects. In fall and winter, when insects are scarce, they'll feed in fruit trees and berry bushes. Place dried fruits and berries or mealworms in platform feeders and dish feeders. In spring, leave open ground in your garden beds where they can collect mud. Place yarn and nesting material fibers in mesh hangers to watch them visit as they build nests.

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Birds
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