Wild Bird Articles

FAQ: Feeding Wild Birds

When's the best time to start?

The beauty of wild bird feeding is that you can start whenver you want to. The birds can really use your help in the winter and very early spring when natural seed sources are scarce. 

Should I stop feeding at certain times?

If you enjoy feeding the birds, there is no reason to stop. Feel free to feed all year-round. Feeding the birds throughout the summer will not make them "lazy" or "dependent."

How long does it take for birds to find a feeder?

Sometimes it can seem like forever. It may take more time for birds to find window feeders than hanging or pole-mounted feeders. Start with a feeder full of black oil sunflower. If that doesn't get their attention, try wrapping aluminum foil around the top of the feeder hanger. Sometimes all it take is the reflection of light on the foil to catch their attention. 

My feeder is full of seeds and I haven't seen a bird in months. Am I doing something wrong?

When birds desert your feeder, it may simply be that a lot of natural food is available, your seeds may have spoiled or your feeder could be contaminated. Throw the seeds away and wash the feeder. Also take a look at where your feeder is placed. Be sure it's not vulnerable to predators.

Can birds choke on peanut butter?

There's no evidence that birds can choke on peanut butter. However, birds have no salivary glands. Make it easier on them by purchasing commercially manufactured suet cakes (seed, fruit or peanut butter mixed with lard). 

It's safer to use commerically rendered suet cakes in the spring and summer months. Rendering, boiling the fat, kills bateria. It's okay to feed your woodpeckers year round. 

How close to your window can you put a feeder?

Birds will come right up to your window. Don't worry that a feeder on the window will cause birds to fly into the window. Birds fly into the window because they see the reflection of trees. Window feeders and decals can break up the reflection.

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