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Feed the birds

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I made a special trip to the store today to purchase bird seed before my feathered friends leave me for a better feeder. Bird feeding is a popular hobby and when winters are cold and long, like this one, the birds appreciate the opportunity for a handy feast. I even moved my feeder to a nearby tree for a wonderful opportunity for close viewing.

I set up my feeder in a quiet place where I can see it easily and it is convenient to refill. The feeder is closer than 3 feet to the window in order to reduce the likelihood of window collisions. You can also affix the feeder to the glass or window frame for the same reason. When birds take off from feeders 6 feet or more from windows, they’re going at their top speed when they hit, making the severity of collisions far greater. Half of the birds that hit the window die from their injuries.

Depending on what type of birds you want to attract will determine the type of seed you provide. I buy a wild bird seed mix but you can buy sunflower, safflower, cracked corn, peanuts, millet or flax. If you aren’t sure what will work best, talk to your neighbors to find out what works for them or you can ask a sales clerk to find out what they suggest and what seems to be popular in the area.

When you first set up a feeding station, you may have no birds. Be patient and give the birds a chance to discover their new food source. If the birds do not visit your feeder within a few days of setting it up, try sprinkling seed on the ground nearby the feeder to attract their attention. Eventually they will venture out to explore the feast you have prepared.

Once you set out your feeder you will want to keep it filled, or your new feathered friends will be angry with you. You will also need to keep your new feeder clean to keep the birds healthy. Moldy or decomposing seeds and hulls that accumulate on feeder trays can make birds sick. Wash the feeder with soap and warm water weekly or even more often if the weather has been wet.

I enjoy watching the birds that visit my feeder and know you will experience the same benefits once you decide to feed the birds.



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