Location, location, location: Optimize your bird feeder real estate

Now that spring has sprung and you’ve already ensured your feeders and houses are clean, it’s time to consider the best positioning for the best backyard bird feeding experience.

As you start to take inventory of your backyard, be sure to inspect the current positions of your feeders and houses. Ask yourself: Are the branches they hang from still viable? Is there any danger to visitors? Is there a better place you could have a feeder this year?

Moving your feeder around every couple of weeks to avoid spilled seed and/or droppings buildup may cut down cleaning, and it will help provide a safe place for visiting birds. And with the return of many flocks, having more feeders out will mean less crowding, less sharing of illnesses and less fallen seed and/or feces for you to clean later.

In terms of where exactly to place feeders, here are a few suggestions:

1.)    Place feeders twelve feet from a brush pile, dense tree or bush. Birds can quickly fly away from predators at this distance, and yet the predators cannot use the surroundings to their advantage while attempting to prey on the birds.

2.)    Many birds will feed at more than one level, but some species have preferences. Depending on the birds you have in your area, or are hoping to see in your area, you should be sure to offer up the ideal location. Be aware of feeders at ground level, tabletop level, hanging feeders and in tree trunks.

3.)    The type of feeder you use is also important; platform, hopper or tube feeders work for different birds. When in doubt, a platform type feeder is your best bet. Some birds do have strong preferences; the American Goldfinch prefers a tube feeder while the Mourning Dove strongly prefers a platform feeder. And what better way to fill the preferred feeder than with the preferred food? Take a look at our Armstrong bird feeder chart, created to give you an easy-to-follow overview of what your backyard friends prefer!

Once you’ve filled your feeders with the appropriate seed, store food in rodent- and water-proof containers in a cool and preferably darker area. Now you can sit back and wait to see who comes to visit your yard.

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