Bird feeders have long been a staple for many backyards. They’re a great way to add visual appeal and attract harmless wildlife to your yard. It’s so popular that 52 million Americans feed birds in their backyards.
But it takes more than putting a bird feeder in your yard to give birds a great place to come and eat. Avoid the nine common bird feeding mistakes below to take care of the visiting birds.
1. Ignoring Cleaning
A bird feeder can attract many types of birds during the week. During that time, those birds will make a mess and leave their mark around the bird feeder. Unless you keep things clean, that can lead to disease.
You don’t want your bird feeder to be an area where birds go to get sick. Ideally, set a routine to clean your bird feeder weekly. Use hot soapy water to remove the bacteria.
Once you clean your feeder, be sure to wait until it dries before adding food back.
2. Not Refilling Food
As your yard becomes a popular spot for summer or winter bird feeding, you’ll run out of food more often. Birds get into a routine of coming to your yard for food, which means you’ll regularly run out as more birds come.
If there’s no food when birds arrive, they’ll go elsewhere to get their meals. Be sure to monitor the food levels for your bird feeder if you want birds to keep coming around.
3. Picking the Wrong Food
The food that birds eat makes a big difference in their health. Many people believe they can get any cheap seed mix and call it a day. The problem is that those seed mixes may not work well for every type of bird.
You need to research food for birds before you start feeding them. Research the types of birds in your area and what type of diet they have.
From there, you can find a mix of food that works well for them and won’t cause them problems.
4. Storing Bird Seeds Incorrectly
Bird seeds usually have a long shelf life. However, that’s only the case if you store them in the right conditions. If you don’t store them right, their shelf life will decrease and expire much more quickly.
Be sure to store your bird seed in an enclosed air that isn’t exposed to the elements. If water gets into your seeds, they can grow mold and go bad.
Additionally, seeds will dry out and become less nutritious if you let them expire too quickly. Look into the proper storage method for the seeds you buy.
5. Not Pest-Proofing Your Feeder
Birds aren’t the only thing that will get into your feeder if you aren’t careful. Other rodents and pests will also come around and make a mess if you aren’t careful.
Put the proper precautions in place to prevent those animals from getting into your feeders. There are many products available that will protect your feeder while still allowing birds to get to the food.
6. Skipping the Water Sources
Food isn’t the only thing birds need to stay healthy. They also need fresh water sources to survive and thrive in the wild.
If there aren’t many freshwater sources in your area, you can do this yourself with a water fountain. You don’t need to spend a small fortune on a water fountain. You can purchase many smaller and more affordable products to provide fresh water to the birds in your area.
They’ll be able to get a drink and use the water to wash their feathers.
7. Using Only One Bird Feeder
Different types of birds have different eating habits. They don’t all want to eat from the same types of bird feeders you can get.
If you want to attract a variety of birds to your yard, think about getting more than one type of feeder. Doing this will add variety to your yard and attract various kinds of birds. You’ll get more diverse wildlife and can enjoy your yard more.
You can even put feeders around a more diverse environment, like garden beds. Check out this Birdies raised garden bed review to see one of your options.
8. Putting Out Too Much Food
While you don’t want to let your bird feeders run dry, you don’t want to put out too much food either. Unfortunately, it’s tempting for some people to do this. They may not have much time to refill their feeders, so they put out a ton of food in the hopes that it lasts.
The problem is that the food will dry out over time and become less appealing. If you constantly have stale food in your feeder, birds won’t come around to eat.
You can avoid this problem by putting less food in your bird feeders. You’ll need to refill it more often, but the birds will enjoy the seeds more and keep coming back for more.
9. Ignoring Winter Birds
Birds aren’t gone during the winter. Even if you barely see birds in the winter, that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Some may still be around and looking for food.
Putting food out that helps birds in the cold months is just as important as putting out food during the spring and summer. Be sure to keep your bird feeder full in the winter to ensure winter birds can get their fill.
Avoid These Common Bird Feeding Mistakes
Getting a bird feeder for your yard is one of the best ways to add variety and attract wildlife. But if you do things the wrong way, you may end up with an eyesore that doesn’t appeal to the birds.
That’s why it’s critical to avoid common bird feeding mistakes. Be sure to understand the best way to feed birds in your backyard to do things correctly.
Head back to the blog if you’re interested in reading more tips for improving your backyard and other parts of your home.