Thursday, July 11, 2019

Review of Attracting Birds to My Backyard

Black-capped Chickadee on Cardinal Birdfeeder photo by mbgphoto

Black-capped Chickadee

I have often been asked how I attract the large variety of birds to our backyard.  In the past  several years I have documented 31 different types of birds.  I believe that the wide variety of food that I put out for the birds helps to attract different types of birds.  These birds provide hours of entertainment for my husband and me.  In this post I will share with you the different types of bird food.

Mixed Variety Bird Seed

In several of my bird feeders, I use a mixed variety of bird seed. This type of mixture includes sunflower seeds along with other mixed seeds.  I have not found any one brand that seems to be better in attracting birds, so I usually buy whatever is on sale.  Here is the type that I purchased last.


In the photos below you will see the variety of birds that enjoy the mixed bird seed that I keep in several different feeders in our backyard.

female cardinal on cardinal birdfeeder photo by mbgphoto

birds on birdfeeder photo by mbgphoto

birds on birdfeeder photo by mbgphoto

Nyjer Bird Seed

I have a finch feeder that I keep filled with Nyjer seed.  These seeds are small black seeds that don't fall through the small mesh of the feeder.  This feeder attracts many different birds, but it is particularly popular with finches.  In the photo below you will see Goldfinch enjoying the Nyjer seed.

goldfinch on  birdfeeder photo by mbgphoto

The birds in this photo look like they have spotty or dirty looking feathers.  That is due to the fact that this photo was taken in early spring and they were still molting.


Suet Nuggets

This year I have started to put suet nuggets in a feeder.  This food has become very popular with woodpeckers.  Downy woodpeckers are frequent visitors of the nugget feeder.

woodpecker on birdfeeder photo by mbgphoto

I sometimes put whole peanuts in this feeder.  They last longer than the nuggets but I find it hard to tell when the feeder is empty because the empty peanut shells are left behind.  Here is a Red-bellied Woodpecker enjoying the peanuts.

woodpecker on birdfeeder photo by mbgphoto


Suet Cakes

Another popular bird food is suet cakes.  I keep one hanging in my backyard feeding area year round.  They are frequented by a wide variety of birds.  In the photo below you see a Grosbeak that visited the suet cake this spring.

grosbeak on birdfeeder photo by mbgphoto

Hummingbird Feeder

Each spring I look forward to seeing my first Hummingbird of the year.  I hang out the feeder starting in early  April.  I make my own food for the feeder boiling 2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of sugar in my microwave.  After cooling the mixture I add it to the feeder.  It is important to change the mixture every week to ten days and more often in very hot weather.

hummingbird on feeder photo by mbgphoto

Bird Bath

In addition to the various bird feeders I provide a bird bath on our back deck.  This gives the birds a place to get a drink and in the case of Robins to take a bath. This spring I looked out one day to see a whole group of Bluebirds lined up on the edge of the bird bath.

 I love to see the Robins splashing in the bird bath.

robin in birdbath photo by mbgphoto

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  1. Mary Beth, I always love your bird photos and knowing you take the majority of them in your own backyard it is interesting to read what feeders and bird seed attracts them.

  2. Sunflower seeds seem to be a big draw for the birds in our area too. Like you, my parents put out a lot of bird feed and they have a huge variety of birds coming to their yard. Thanks for sharing the information on the food you use. All of us are looking for ways to save money, but still feed our birds.

  3. Your bird photos are always so special! Thanks for sharing the food you put out to attract such a wide variety. We seem to have only a few types of birds in my neighborhood, but we enjoy watching them at our feeders. My in-laws attract hummingbirds at their house in Maine and they're fascinating to watch!

  4. You have created a nourishing nature sanctuary for so many creatures. They are obviously drawn to this very special safe haven. I get such joy out of being in the presence of birds. I should put out my feeders. Previously, the scrub jays were feeder bullies and gluttons. That caused me to stop filling my feeders much to my disappointment (and I'm sure to the disappointment of the birds that weren't causing the trouble). It's time for me to give it another try. I sure enjoy seeing your sweet visitors.

  5. This is a topic I know nothing about, so all of this is new to me! Love the gorgeous bird feeders, and until I read this had no idea different seeds make a difference

  6. I didn't realize there were so many kinds of bird feeders. I just may have to get one and start watching birds from my window. I've always assumed they got what they wanted from the weed seeds on the ground and the berry producing plants in my yard.

  7. Wow Mary Beth, you are so lucky that you get the variety of birds that you do. You must live in an area that these birds all live in too. Putting out the food they love will encourage them for sure. I don't know if your get Baltimore Orioles, but they love grape jelly and orange sections and will sing for their supper if you put some out!


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