Raw peanuts are excellent for chickadees, titmice and woodpeckers.

Suet is also a great food source for these and bluebirds, warblers, downy and red bellied woodpeckers, tanagers, nuthatches and wrens. Peanut butter suet is ideal because it won't melt as easily as animal fat suet in warm seasons. Be sure to hang it in a shady location because peanut butter suet will melt in direct afternoon sun.

Thistle is great for attracting finches, especially the goldfinch. Although more expensive than other seeds, it's worth the extra dollars to see the brilliant gold of the goldfinch.

Sugar water for the humming birds! Mix 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. You don't have to put red food coloring in it to attract hummingbirds. Most feeders have bright red on them which is sufficient. It is a good idea to have several hummingbird feeders available because they are territorial and will drive away other hummers. Sugar water mildews quickly in the heat. When the water starts to turn cloudy, empty it and wash the feeder.

The hobby of birding, whether for the enthusiast working on their "Life" list or for the casual observer, brings relaxation to all who watch.

If you would like to attract more birds to your yard, remember this concept:

Wildlife need 4 things to survive-food, water, shelter and space.

Keep these in mind as you plan your backyard strategies.

Food The food part is easy. You could start out with a seed mixture in one feeder. This would appeal to a variety of birds but has its limitations.
Birds can spread disease to each other. By having only one feeder, you would be concentrating all activity to one location, potentially spreading disease.

It would be better to have several feeders to lessen the frequency of birds at one particular feeder.

This will also allow you to try different kinds of feed. Different species of birds prefer different types of food. The larger the variety of food, the greater the variety of birds you will attract.

Clean your feeders at least every other month with mild bleach water to remove any potential disease.
Sunflower seeds are enjoyed by cardinals, sparrows, buntings, titmice and chickadees to name a few.

Print a Poster!
Click this picture to reveal a bird poster
from the GA Forestry Commission.

The sound of dripping or splashing water is irresistible to birds. You could put a small fountain in the bath that recirculates the water to make the sound. Or you can hang a drip line for plants above the bath for excellent results. Adjustable drip lines work well. Some birds like to drink from this also.

Shelter is important for both residential and migratory birds. Brushy areas and low-branching trees provide nesting and perching areas. If you have an open area, place a bluebird house about 5 feet high facing the open area. Birds feel secure when there is brushy cover near the feeders to escape from predators like the opportunistic house cat. A simple pile of thick branches and sticks can offer suitable habitat.

Having Space between feeders keeps competition at a low level. By having several feeders of different food types spread out at non-threatening distances, fighting and the spread of avian disease will be reduced.

Now that your feeders, water and habitat are established, the joys of birding can begin. Don't be discouraged if birds don't find you right away. It may take a few days. The splashing sound of water will definitely help.

It's also fun to have binoculars, a field guide, a notepad and pen handy to observe, identify, and record all of the birds sighted. Write down the date you saw the bird so you will know next year when to expect them.

Keep feed out all year round because birds will stop by at any season and thus provide you entertainment all year long. Happy Birding!

Water is essential for birds to drink and bathe.

Provide a shallow-basin type bath with a gradual slope.

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