How and where to feed Garden Birds
Attracting birds to your Garden in a friendly and safe way
Photo: © Down the Lane
Hanging Bird Feeders
There's a separate feeder for almost every kind of feed and as you can see from above I tend to mix them up a bit. Most will eat both Fat Balls and Peanuts. By doing so I've found the Fat Balls go down a bit slower. If you put them in a larger hole feeder, all and sundry come in and take them, they're gone in a flash and up go the costs somewhat!
With the Suet Cakes it's best I've found to hang them next to a twig (or insert a twig through). Tits will cling on to anything, but Robins and Sparrows are not quite as agile and Suet is one of their favourites. Left alone, the Tits would have everything to themselves!
Nyger Feeders are slightly different, just small holes for Finches to get to. Most Tits don't have any interest in them, not do the Squirrels. If you think you have finches around, put Nyger out. If you don't it can take a long time for some to realise it's there. In view of that, to begin with don't fill the Feeder up more than half or the seed will become damp and clog up.
Bird Tables suit the birds which find Feeders a bit inaccessible. They are also a grand place to put your Scraps.
A good height is around the five to six feet mark. The local feathered population will soon learn it's there.
Where to put your Bird Feeding Stations
This is very much down to the security of Birds visiting your Garden.
Too many people think mainly on where they can see the birds feeding and this often ends up with Bird Tables and Bird Feeder Stands being placed smack bang in the middle of an open space.
This may be good to the human eye but it's also good for Predators alike. Sparrowhawks swoon in and take birds almost without slowing up. Cats will wait in nearby undergrowth and wait for Birds to start scraping on the ground below the feeders.
There are two good pointers here, both of which should benefit both humans and birds alike.
1. Put your Feeding Stations closer to a Tree. This gives birds something to perch on between feeding, if you're a bid photographer - this is ideal. By doing so it will make things a lot harder for Sparrowhawks and other flying Predator.
2. About a meter or so away from a Window is good. I'm sure many have had that horrible bang on the window, then upon going outside you have found an injured or dead bird below. If the feeders are a longer distance away, they often fly off in a hurry and can't see there's a window, they just see a reflection of trees and / or sky.
Enjoy! There are few things more therapeutic and satisfying than sitting at your window or looking out when doing the cooking or washing to watch the types of Birds you have attracted to your Garden, plus you are playing a part in the continuation of species