Adding a bird feeder or two to your backyard is a great way to help the wild birds in your neighborhood have a consistent food source to help them get through the long cold winter. In wintertime, natural food sources are harder to find for wild birds, and at this time of the year where I live in the upper Midwest, they need plenty of energy to survive the stretches of extreme cold.
Wild bird feeders are available in many shapes and sizes. Feeders can be large, small, plastic, wood, steel, round, rectangular, and the list goes on. Some are designed to offer a wide variety of bird feeds, and some are designed to offer a specific type of seed. Others still are designed to cater to a specific species of bird. At Wild Stewardship, I have come up with a few simple bird feeder designs that will appeal to a wide variety of birds in just about any neighborhood.
My simple cedar sunflower seed feeder is designed to be used with black oil sunflower seeds, considered by many to be the most appealing feed for the largest number of bird species. This feeder is available in three sizes, is constructed primarily of natural cedar with a mesh screen on the front and back to allow the birds to pull the seeds through. I have a plastic wedge at the bottom to force all the seed to the sides so there will be no left overs out of reach of our feathered friends.
As humans, we like to have variety in our meals and certainly there are some foods that we prefer over others. I think to some degree the same can be said for the birds out in nature too. Different seeds and seed blends will be more attractive to one species of bird or another, so it is a good idea to have more than one feeder with more than one type of feed, especially if you want to attract a wide variety of birds.
My suet and seed combo feeder adds variety immediately by having the large chamber for seeds or seed blends, and the suet basket on the back to hold one of a large variety of suet cakes on the market today. Whether you choose my seed feeder with or without the suet basket, this feeder is made primarily of natural cedar, with a clear acrylic window to show how much seed is left. This feeder will work well with just about any of the seed mixtures available, or straight cracked corn or sunflower seeds.
In my yard, it seems that the seed will be attractive to finches, chickadees, blue jays, cardinals, and many other species of birds, and often the suet will bring in several varieties of woodpecker. Make sure you place your feeders where you can see them from your favorite window. Bird watching is an enjoyable pastime on cold winter days for nature enthusiasts of any age. Having bird feeders in your yard is a great way to get children interested in nature and wildlife as well. Give a child a pair of binoculars and play a game with them to see who can identify the most types of birds. Children will also enjoy helping to fill the bird feeders, and afterwards watching the birds come to eat will give them a sense of connection to nature, and hopefully plant the seed of a lifelong love for wildlife and the outdoors, and create future stewards of our natural resources.
Check out my full line of bird feeders and bird houses at www.wildstewardship.com I also have them listed on eBay. More products will be added soon so stop back often. If you have an idea for a custom bird feeder contact me for an estimate and I’ll see what I can do to bring your concept to reality.