Safe Feeding Options for Wild BirdsPosted: August 1, 2015
For some feeding wild birds is more than just a hobby, it’s therapeutic. Birds are beautiful creatures with wonderful voices. They cannot only bring color to your life but peacefulness as well. Watching wild birds use a feeder in the backyard of your own home is one of the best comforts of enjoying wildlife.
Here are a few safe feeding options for wild birds. The number one option for feeding wild birds is the hanging seed feeder. It’s an absolute must if you want to attract the biggest variety of wild birds. It’s safe to say that this the best option because it will attract the greatest number of birds including most species of Greenfinch, Goldfinch, House and Tree Sparrow, and with the right perch, Robins will also feed from it. Hanging feeders can also use almost any kind of seeds or seed mix with the exception of Niger Seeds and soft food mixes.
The second option is Niger seed feeders. These feeders are specifically used for the Niger seed. The Niger seed is a tiny, oil rich seed that has special oil releasing properties. This is extremely popular among Goldfinches. The reason why these feeders are so special is because the seeds are so small that if you use them on a normal feeder, they will just pour right out. Another option for wild birds is the Mesh Peanut feeder. Peanuts should never be fed to wild birds as a whole. Without the right feeder, this can cause choking or death. This mostly affects robins, but a mesh peanut feeder is perfectly safe for any bird to pick small pieces of food from.
Some people like to opt for the fresh food approach, which requires a live or soft food feeder. These feeders are usually in the form of a covered dish, which allows either the live food or soft food such as mealworms and soft food mixes. The last safe option for feeding wild birds is ground and table feeding. A number of birds will not use a hanging feeder because it’s not in their natural instinct to feed from an elevated position. Many garden birds prefer to feed from the ground because it’s more in line with their natural preferences. Among these birds are the Robin and Dunnock. Because it provides a flat feeding surface, ground and table feeders are great options for ground feeding birds. Be mindful those ground and table feeders are to be used quickly so other animals or rodents don’t eat it. A good way to keep the food directly off the ground is to use a feeding tray which keeps the food several inches off the ground.
All of these feeders come with a metal option to protect against squirrels and to aid in cleaning old/rotten food. If the feeders are not clean, it can cause the birds to get sick. In addition, never put human food in the feeders, only high quality bird feed. Human food is toxic to birds and can cause more harm than good. Make an extra effort to place your feeder in a safe position near your garden, away from predators, and away from windows. The positioning of your feeder is vital to the safety of the bird as well as your enjoyment to be able to watch them. One final note is to not forget about water. Providing clean water for wild birds is just as important as providing food. Not only does it let them bathe to keep their plumage in good condition, but it keeps them hydrated. These are the best and safest feeding options for wild birds.