We like to garden for wildlife and one of our favorite forms of wildlife is birds- all kinds of birds. It is cool to sit at the window and see all the different types that come to our yard: ground feeder birds, small feeder birds, pretty much any birds, we like all of them. We have noticed there is a lot more bird song in our yard than most places in our town, even more than in the nearby state natural area.
We started small with a couple of hanging bird feeders and a ground feeder. The ground feeder was small and needed cleaning after it rained, so was no fun to take care of. We replaced it with stumps, which are pretty self cleaning in a hard rain and created a lot of room for more birds.
Theresa also put small tree limbs out the top of the post so there were more safe landing areas. As you can see, some birds had to wait in line to get to the food.
We feed the birds fine sunflower seeds with the shells removed. It's expensive, but there's less waste and less mess. The birds don't throw out the less attractive seeds to get to the ones they like.
To attract woodpeckers we added suet. Theresa heard that Baltimore orioles like grape jelly, so we added bowl for that. And yes, Theresa buys jelly without high fructose corn syrup for the birds.
You also need water for the birds. Theresa went out every other day to fill a small birdbath so the birds could drink and sometimes take baths. That changed in 2012...
Yep, in the winter. We feed the birds all year round. In Winter, on really cold or snowy days we use twice as much food, the birds need it. We also have a heater for the pond. It keeps an area open so the birds can drink.
We use the Birds of Wisconsin Field Guide to identify the different types of birds.
Here are photos of some of the 30+ types of birds that have visited the bird feeders in our yarden...
It's a little stressful for the bird community when a hawk moves in. I thought he was a lousy hunter so I called him Mr. MaGoo. Then I realized he was still alive after stopping in our yard for over a month, so he had to be good enough to survive. He is now known as McGee.
We leave a large brush pile in (aka the birdie condo) in the back yard to provide shelter for birds close to the food.
W even get mourning doves. Here are two babies waiting on the path for their parents.
On some days the birds like to take baths in the pond.
Type at ya later...