Thursday, January 27, 2022

Reviewing The Joy of Bird Feeding


Eastern Bluebird photo by mbgphoto
Eastern Bluebird

My husband and I enjoy watching the birds in our backyard.  We can sit at our kitchen table and watch the view through our sliding glass doors.  We were very excited when we received a Christmas gift from a friend to give us lots of great ideas for attracting and feeding our feathered friends. This gift was a book entitled The Joy of Bird Feeding. In this post I will give you a preview of the tips found in each chapter of this book.  I will also share some of the photographs that I have taken of birds in our backyard.

Chapter 1: The Five Steps to Bird Feeding Mastery

The first chapter gives a thorough plan on setting up your backyard to attract the biggest variety of birds.  It helps you to set up a plan to decide what foods to serve and when to serve them.

Downy woodpecker photo by mbgphoto
Downy feasting on Suet Pellets

Chapter 2: Thoughtful Bird Feeding Stations Elements in Detail

Details of the elements needed for feeding birds are described in this chapter.  One of the items suggested is year-round water.  In the photo below you see a group of bluebirds enjoying fresh water from the heated dog bowl I have placed on our deck on a cold winter's day.

Bluebird photo by mbgphoto

Chapter 3: The Birds

This chapter gives us some interesting information on the birds that are found in our backyards.  The introduction talks about year-round birds, seasonal residents and migrant birds. It is also talks about how the birds find feeders.  The chapter then goes into photos of various birds and identifying information.  It is quite comprehensive.  Here is a Carolina Wren that is a frequent visitor to my backyard.

Carolina Wren photo by mbgphoto
Carolina Wren

Chapter 4: The Foods

Great detail is given on the various foods that are available for birds. There is also a section on foods from your kitchen that are good for birds and a section on fun food shapes.  Here is a bird on a Penguin feeder that we received for Christmas.

house finch on a decorative penguin suet feeder photo by mbgphoto
House Finch on Fun Feeder

Chapter 5: The Feeders

Are you undecided about what types of feeders to purchase?  This chapter goes into detail on each type of feeder and tells you the pros and cons of each.  I like to have a variety of feeders in my backyard. Here is a photo of some Cardinals and a finch on one of my feeders.

cardinals and finch on a lighthouse feeder
Cardinals and Finch

Chapter 6: Poles and Hangers

Here we find some great ideas for poles and hangers including a nifty pole system.  I will need to look into that.

Chapter 7: Critter Solutions

Unwanted critters can play havoc with your feeding stations.  This chapter gives you ideas on how to mitigate the critter issues.  We have lots of squirrels in our yard and I have some squirrel proof feeders and others that the squirrels love to visit.  We enjoy seeing their antics too.  Here is a squirrel at one of our feeders.

squirrel robbing a bird feeder photo by mbgphoto

Chapter 8: Situations and Solutions

Have you wondered why the birds aren't coming to your feeders or what you can do about the messy deck?  The answers to these and other issues can be found in this chapter.

Chapter 9: Buying and Storing Bird Food

Here you will find lots of tips for buying the best foods and storing solutions for your bird food.

Chapter 10: Common-sense Bird Feeding Hygiene

Here I find a lot of tips for making your bird feeding stations safe for the birds.  Some I have done, but there are certainly a lot of areas where I can improve.  

Chapter 11- Fun Bird Feeding Activities

This chapter is full of some great bird feeding activities including things like hand feeding birds and watching birds when you are not at home.  The activity that most interests me is photographing birds.  I love to set up my backyard to make some good backgrounds for taking bird photos and this book had lots of tips. 

Here is a favorite photo I caught of some bluebirds turning their backs to the camera.  I thought it made a good ending for this review.

bluebirds drinking from a heated dog bowl photo by mbgphoto

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. The perfect book to answer any and all questions about bird feeding. What a thoughtful gift to be given to anyone who enjoys watching the birds in their backyard. As always, your beautiful photographs allow me to share your bird visitors virtually. Always such a treat, Mary Beth.

  2. This sounds like a wonderful and comprehensive guide to feeding the birds. Thank you for sharing this with us. I love seeing the birds too. Unfortunately for us, we are now 18 stories above ground and the only birds that come to visit are little sparrows. They will have to do for us and they are still fun to watch. It's the pigeons that I want to keep away....everyone else is welcome! Love the little bluebird butts to finish off your review, they are so cute!

  3. This book sounds like a wonderful source of information and inspiration for anyone wanting to feed and attract birds to their garden. There are some great tips here and I do especially like the one about having a water source in the garden. People often feed birds but have no water source and it is so important for drinking and bathing. Keeping feeders very clean is also vital to help prevent disease. Foods to choose and squirrel solutions would also be great. With all the tips and fun bird feeding activities I think it sounds a very interesting book and would be a lovely gift. As always I love your bird photography :)

  4. What a perfect give for anyone who loves watching and feeding our feathered friends! This book sounds quite comprehensive and chock full of useful, practical tips. Of course, your beautiful photos of your avian visitors are a joy to look at.

  5. Beautiful photos Mary Beth! I especially like the squirrel photo because it looks like he thought he would be hidden from view by the ornamental wreath. I love that one! Of course, all of the birds are beautiful. This book seems like that perfect book of inspiration and information. I still think that heated dog bowl for water is ingenious. Plus, that is a really pretty penguin feeder. So cute for the holidays and photos.

  6. The bluebirds turning their backs to the camera is beautiful - what a stunning picture - very original - that needs a frame - the bluebird of happiness is so nice too; what a great card to send to someone, especially these days


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