Guest Post: Backyard Birding Tips

Today we have been given the opportunity to do a guest post for Burlington Ontario Birder. We often go birding together and have recently discovered the world of backyard birding. We started to feed wild birds in the late spring of 2014. Since then we have had many joys and many troubles. We have acquired some knowledge in this short amount of time and we hope that it will help you. Enjoy!

The Food Choices for Bird Feeders

  • Black Oil Sunflower
  • Nyger (Thistle Seed)
  • Suet

General Bird Feeding Tips

  • Purchase or make a bird feeder with multiple perches to reduce fighting
  • Beware of early birds waking you up at 5am, 6am, 7am etc.
  • Place your feeder(s) where you can see them
  • Use a basket or tray under the feeder or on the ground to catch fallen seed for easy disposal
Juvenile Song Sparrow foraging in backyard in Burlington, ON

Juvenile Song Sparrow foraging

  • Some birds are uncomforable perching and prefer to feed on the ground
  • Keep an eye out for juvenile birds, they often look, act and sound different than adult birds
Juvenile Northern Cardinal in backyard in Burlington, ON

Juvenile Northern Cardinal

 

  • Don’t bring your feeder(s) inside during rain. During and after storms large amount of birds will arrive to feed
  • Birds will often fight with other bird species or their own kind
House sparrow fighting at bird feeder in backyard in Burlington, ON

House sparrows fighting at bird feeder

  • A water source is very important and can attract a large variety of birds
  • Plant a bird friendly garden to provide food, shelter and nesting sites

Pests

  • Mourning Doves will successfully land on many types of feeders with seed trays even if they are uncomfortable they’ll eat everything…whole
Mourning Doves on fence in backyard in Burlington, ON

Mourning Doves

 

Mourning Dove and House Finch at bird feeder in backyard in Burlington, ON

Mourning Dove and House Finch at bird feeder

  • Block all entrances where house cats have or can enter your backyard
  • Don’t let squirrels win the fight, eliminate all access points. You can use baffles, squirrel proof feeders, cayenne pepper, spray bottles etc.
Grey Squirrel resting on fence in backyard in Burlington, ON

Grey Squirrel resting on fence

  • Check your feeder(s) before bringing inside to clean or refill. You may find earwigs, spiders, flies and other small insects

Maintenance

  • Clean your feeder(s) with a bleach and water solution. Make sure it’s dry before refilling
  • Remove seed shells. Birds can become sick from moldy seed

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2 thoughts on “Guest Post: Backyard Birding Tips

  1. Excellent post, great information. Very nice variety of birds at your feeders. I am particularly fond of woodpeckers and enjoyed the photos of the Northern Flicker.

    • Thank you! We were pretty shocked by the variety of birds especially that a couple woodpeckers frequent our area. A downy woodpecker finally found one of the feeders earlier this week.

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