Setting Up Your New Bird Feeder

Need to know what to do with that new bird feeder you just received? Follow these guidelines to keep your neighborhood birds interested and healthy.

To attract the right birds for your area, it's important to understand the type of feeder you have. Take a look at the box your feeder came in and match the correct type of seed, whether it be thistle, sunflower seeds, or peanuts to it for best results.

Feeder placement is also a critical aspect of successful bird stewardship. When placing a new feeder it's not unusual for birds to take up to two weeks to locate it. If you are having problems getting birds to your existing feeder and keeping them coming, consider the following common issues:

  • If you're using a free-standing or hanging feeder away from the house, most birds will like a sense of enclosure that can be provided by a planting of shrubs or backing by a wooded area.
  • The habitat should not provide cover for or be easily accessible to bird predators such as household cats or close to nesting or roosting areas for birds of prey.
  • Be sure to use fresh seed. Since bird seed is a natural product high in oils it can often spoil if not kept in an air tight container or kept at an improper temperature. Ideally keep seed in a cool dry place, and remember that seed can spoil at different rates depending on the season.