Sunday, February 9, 2014

Garden Guests: Attract Your Favorite Bird...With Its Favorite Food

The north side of our front yard is a certified  National Wildlife Federation Backyard Habitat.  Really!  We have a certificate!  You can do the same by consistently providing food, water, cover and places for wildlife to raise their young.  It is so much fun to see all of the critters that stop by for a visit.  I've begun a new series of posts to show you our Garden Guests.  To see these posts, click on my Gardening Page  If you are interested in attracting feathered friends to your yard, here are some suggestions! 

Birds appreciate supplemental food and fresh water, especially in fall and winter. A continuing supply of food will encourage birds to nest and raise young in your yard. It's also important to always have water available near your feeding stations, especially during the winter when other water sources are frozen solid.


Considerations: different species feed at different levels; Place food near shrubs or trees so birds will have the security of an escape nearby; Since birds do not have teeth, they need grit in their gizzard to help grind down seeds. In the winter, it may be hard for them to find tiny pebbles and grit. Help by placing coarse sand or crushed egg shells near the bird feeder.

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 Safflower Seeds - a good choice if you want to invite cardinals to the backyard without the messy freeloaders – few birds(or squirrels) like safflower. Unlike sunflower seed, safflower seeds aren't attractive to bossy birds such as grackles and blackbirds.

Black Oil Sunflower Seeds - energy-packed seeds that are a favorite of a wide variety of bird species. If you only have one feeder available, fill it with black oil sunflower seeds.

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Peanuts - keep blue jays from intimidating smaller birds by serving peanuts in a separate feeder. The jays will focus on that feeder and be less aggressive overall. Buy shelled peanuts if you want less mess in your yard
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Nyjer (thistle) Seed - enjoyed by finches and other species that include juncos, spar-rows, chickadees, and even woodpeckers... use tube feeders with perches at several levels.
Suet - like catnip to wood-peckers and nuthatches. ... buy packaged suet cakes, often infused with seeds and fruits, or purchase raw suet from a local butcher. The birds aren't particular.
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Cracked Corn - the fast food of bird feeding - high in calories and inexpensive ...may have problems with undesirable guests.
Mixed Birdseed - quality counts when choosing a wild birdseed mix... look for a high percentage of sun-flower seeds and peanuts. Don't buy cheap mixes that contain milo, wheat, red millet, or grain by-product.
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(While the photos in this article are mine, the content is from Benton County Master Gardeners' October Newsletter, used with permission.  If you are curious about my habitat garden and more of the critters that visit, please view my Gardening Page!)

 ;-)  -Marci





  1. Your chickadees are very like our blue wrens.

  2. I love seeing your bird pictures! I'm looking forward to seeing the goldfinches turn yellow again.

  3. My toddler will love this. He is so enthralled with wildlife, but we've only been privy to larger animal sightings - most birds are too far away to be seen. Maybe time to attract them in closer.

  4. I dream of having a yard like that one day! Thanks for the info and beautiful photos!

  5. I love birds! I would love to put a feeder out. I had one a few years ago and my husband complained. Maybe he won't notice if I put one out again. Thanks for sharing with us at the Four Seasons Blog Hop. I will share your post.

  6. They are so pretty! Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos with us on Snickerdoodle Sunday


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