6 Steps to Better Bird Feeding

Whether you're a novice birder looking to improve your feeder environment or just interested in getting into this fun and fascinating hobby, these six simple steps will make sure your backyard is a haven for the most beautiful birds in the neighborhood.

1. Put Out the Welcome Mat!

Habitat loss is the biggest challenge facing birds. You can help by making your neighborhood more attractive to birds by landscaping with native plants that provide food, shelter and nesting sites. Providing feeders, nest boxes and water also benefits birds.

2. Prepare a Proper Menu

Providing the appropriate foods year round will attract more birds to your yard and help ensure that they have a safe and nutritious diet. Buy better food and you'll get better birds - it's that easy. Specifically, look for foods that are clean and feature real nuts and berries like Wild Delight.

3. Keep Feed and Feeding Areas Clean

To help reduce the possibility of disease transmission in birds, clean your feeders and feeding areas at least once a month.

4. Birds and Chemicals Don't Mix

Many pesticides, herbicides and fungicides are toxic to birds; avoid using these near areas where birds feed, bathe or rest.

5. Keep Cats Away From Birds

Scientists estimate that cats probably kill hundreds of millions of birds each year in the U.S. This is a big problem, but it's easy to fix. Many people who enjoy feeding birds also love cats. The best solution is to keep cats indoors. They will lead longer, healthier lives and your yard will be safer for birds.

6. Reduce Window Collisions

Collisions with glass windows kill millions of wild birds every year. Depending on their size and location, some windows reflect the sky or vegetation, and birds are fooled into thinking they can fly through them. Attaching decorative decals or other decorations to the outside surface of the glass can reduce reflections. Feeder birds fleeing predators are especially vulnerable to window collisions. Consider moving feeders within three feet of windows so that the birds cannot accelerate to injury level speeds while flying away.