Long warm days give backyard birders more time to observe feeders and see many different hungry visitors, especially in northern areas when there is a greater variety. During the summer months, birds are in their breeding plumage, making identification easier and more colourful birds! We’ve gathered some tips to make sure your summer bird feeding program is enjoyable for both you and your guests:

 

  1. Feed
  • Sunflower black oil seeds, coarse chips, or medium chips are the most popular option for a wide range of bird species. Nyjer will also attract finches, while mixed seed caters to different songbird species.
  • Peanuts are popular with jays, chickadees, titmice, and nuthatches, and they can be offered in platform feeders. Avoid seasoned, flavored, or coated nuts, as they are unsafe for wild birds.
  • Hang feeders in shaded areas to minimize seed spoiling and help keep birds cool, encouraging them to stay longer.
  • Choose mesh or open feeder styles that allow airflow and will dry out quicker if the seed gets damp.
  • Use baffles or covers to keep seed from getting soaked during rainstorms.
  1. Safety
  • Discourage neighborhood cats from visiting your yard to protect ground feeding birds and young fledglings.
  • Birds have a difficult time seeing glass. Instead, they see the reflection of the sky and plants. Protect birds from window strikes by positioning feeders carefully and using decals and/or anti-reflective techniques.
  • Discard any seed that has spoiled and clean your feeder to avoid spreading disease. You can follow our cleaning guide HERE.
  1. Water
  • Adding a freshwater source is one of the quickest ways to attract birds to your yard. Incorporate a birdbath or fountain to attract species that need water but do not frequently visit feeders. When refilling your birdbath, be sure to dump out stagnant water instead of just adding more.
  • Place water feature away from feeders to prevent any spilled seed from landing in the water.
  • Clean your birdbaths and fountains 2-3 times a week depending on how many birds are using it, or as soon as you see discoloration of the water.

 

Happy birding!

References

Myntz, Melissa 2019, Summer Bird Feeding, The Spruce, accessed 25 July 2019
https://www.thespruce.com/summer-bird-feeding-386551