People look forward to the longer days and warmer temperatures that signal the beginning of spring, but March and April can be stressful for birds.
Most natural food supplies leftover from the previous autumn have been eaten and neither new plant foods nor insects are yet available.
Your feathered friends may now be even more dependent on your feeding station.
Consider what goes in the life of a bird this time of year: territorial defense; mate attracting; nest building and egg laying. All these are activities requiring energy. Supplemental foods from your feeders go a long way to provide sustenance.
No matter what size backyard you have, the landscape can be enhanced to invite the birds up close to entertain, educate and amaze you:
- Several types of feeders help attract various species. Cardinals and towhees prefer to feed from a place where they can stand.
- Smaller birds will come to feeders with perches. Serve black nyjer seed from a tube with tiny portals to attract goldfinches.
- Downy and hairy woodpeckers, chickadees and nuthatches all love suet. Make your own or purchase prepared cakes to use all year ’round.
Birds have seed preferences and will discard seed that doesn’t appeal to them. If you find a lot of uneaten seed on the ground, your birds are leaving you a message.
Keep feeders, and the ground beneath them, clean for the health of the birds. Position your feeders several feet apart to allow enough space for the birds to maneuver, and near to trees or shrubs for protection from predators.