Variety keeps life exciting. This is not only true in our personal experiences, but in the way we present our backyard habitats to those creatures we are attempting to entice to these feeding areas. If you would like to see more diverse populations of birds and a more fascinating collection of behaviors in your yard, present a variety of attractors.
Most of us are now using good seed blends, but adding nutritional items such as mealworms, fruit, mixed nut blends and suet snacks can greatly increase the assortment of bird species we get to watch.
Mealworms, offered in a mealworm feeder, can attract nuthatches, chickadees, bluebirds, robins and even kestrels. Many people who feed mealworms report that the birds follow them around when they are bringing the mealworms to the feeder.
Orange halves, chopped apples and raisins can be offered to attract robins, tanagers, orioles, solitaires and other colorful species. Oranges can be offered skewered on a fruit feeder with a spike in the middle, while raisins and chopped apples can be presented in shallow dishes with holes in the bottom for good drainage.
Mixed nut blends, such as our Banquet Blend, can bring in the comical jays, flickers, Downy Woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches and many others. Folks in Europe feed more nuts than birdseed.
Suet snacks are great for attracting insect-eating birds that rid our yards of insect pests. These little balls of suet dough are a clean way to tantalize a wider variety of our avian amigos.
As you develop your bird feeding station into an oasis for the multitude of species that may visit your feeder, keep a list of how the variety of visitation has grown. It is both great fun and educational for the little ones.
For plenty of friendly, free advice on attracting the most beautiful birds in the world, call 303-467-2644.
~ David Menough, Owner of Wild Birds Unlimited of Arvada
David and his wife, Kathy, own the Wild Birds Unlimited store at the southeast corner of 88th and Wadsworth in Arvada. WBU stores specialize in bird feeders, birdbaths, houses, field guides, nature-related gifts, binoculars and quality seed blends.
Other WBU Front Range locations:
- Wild Birds Unlimited of Denver – 2720 S. Wadsworth Blvd.
- Wild Birds Unlimited of Fort Collins – 3636 S. College Ave.
BirdTalk migrating to noon! Tune in to David and Scott Menough at noon on Saturdays for BirdTalk Radio on 710 KNUS. They will broadcast live from their stores in Arvada and Denver.