By Jackie Overom
I know you thought I was going to write about a nice winter vacation in Arizona. That is not to be, since I am going to help you figure out how to take care of our feathered friends that stay up North with us during this frigid season.
There are many types of feeders and each will give you different options for feeding.
1. Platform feeders
Platform feeders are great for birds like cardinals that just love to eat off the ground or a flat surface.
2. Tube feeders
Tube feeders are cylinders filled with different types of seed. Most have perches and some have catch trays to prevent extra spillage.
3. Suet feeders
Suet feeders are great to use when you like to feed woodpeckers, nuthatches and chickadees. All of these birds love suet.
4. House/Hopper feeders
These feeders are nice to accommodate many types of birds. They come in many sizes and have covered roofs to prevent feed from getting wet.
5. Niger feeders
Niger feeders are meant to hold niger seed which finches absolutely love. Niger feeders can be hard tube types or fabric sock types. Small openings will allow the seed to stay in the feeder until a bird pecks at it.
6. Peanut feeders
Peanut feeders are usually larger round wire rings that peanuts will fit into. Squirrels can be fun to watch as they figure out how to get the peanuts.
Once you choose your feeder you will need to get the correct seed or food for the birds you want to attract. Following is a list of birds and the seeds they prefer.
Chickadees—sunflower seeds and suet
Nuthatches—sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, and suet
Finches—sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, millet, and niger seed
Cardinals and Grosbeaks—sunflower seeds and safflower seeds
Sparrows and Blackbirds—sunflower seeds, corn, and millet
Jays—Sunflower seeds, corn, and suet
Woodpeckers—Sunflower seeds and suet
Titmice—sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, and suet
Pigeons and Doves—corn and millet
There are a few bird friends that some folks view as problems. These include grackles, starlings, pigeons, and crows. Using tube feeders with short perches and no catch tray on the bottom will discourage these. You may also find that squirrels will love your feeders. There are many feeders that have squirrel-proof features. I, personally, think the squirrels are fun to watch. They can figure out so many ways to get to the food they want. It can become a game to keep them from eating more than you want them too.
Here at Pahls we carry a nice selection of both feeders and food. January would be a great time for you to begin a winter feeding program. The month is long and cold for the birds that need the extra energy provided from plenty of food. Our winter hours in January, February, and March are Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm. We would love to help you get started feeding birds to enjoy watching in your own yard.