- Birds will find most of their food in the wild. They do not really need us to feed them, but it is fun and educational. To keep them from eating you out of house and home, set a limit on the amount of feed you will give the birds each week. The birds will adjust to the amount you give them.
- Small birds do not feel safe crossing large open spaces because of hawks. Place your feeders near shrubs and trees, but not too close, because cats and other predators can hide there. Some seed on the ground will attract ground feeders like juncos, mourning doves, and various sparrows.
- It is good to have more than one feeder so the birds will not fight over the food.
- Keep your feeders clean and dry. If the seed becomes wet, remove it, wash the feeder and dry it before adding new seed. Moldy seed can make birds sick or even kill them in some circumstances.
- Black oil and striped sunflower seeds attract many birds – including cardinals, woodpeckers, goldfinches, purple finches, chickadees, titmice, and nuthatches – and there is little waste. Nyger seed is best for attracting goldfinches as well as redpolls and pine siskins during the winter.
- It is not legal to feed bears in Pennsylvania. Put your feeders out of their reach, or only feed birds from mid-December to March when the bears are in their dens.
- When you decide to stop feeding, do it gradually over a period of a week or so to wean the birds from your banquet table.
Click here for more bird feeding tips from Audubon Magazine.