5 Tips to Manage Bird Feeding in Your Backyard

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Bird feeding is an incredibly popular hobby, with over 40% of Americans regularly feeding birds in their backyard as of 2015. While many people enjoy feeding all the birds in their yard, certain non-native species like house sparrows or European starlings can disrupt the balance, causing problems for native species. Here are five tips to help you manage your bird feeding hobby effectively:

1. Use Size Selective Feeders
Larger birds tend to be more aggressive and can dominate feeders, excluding smaller, shyer species. Using feeders with spaced-out bars can prevent larger birds from accessing the food while allowing smaller birds to feed comfortably. Barred feeders are perfect for species like chickadees, nut hatches, and goldfinches.

2. Only Feed Certain Seeds
Some birds are not fond of safflower or thistle seeds, which are preferred by species like chickadees, finches, and cardinals. By offering these seeds exclusively, you can discourage bully species from dominating your feeders.

Here's a article that explains the preferences of various bird species for each type of seed and offers tips on how to effectively use them in bird feeding https://www.allaboutbirds.org/news/types-of-bird-seed-a-quick-guide/

3. Provide Feeders of Multiple Types in Different Locations
Setting up different types of feeders in various locations can help diversify the bird species in your yard while reducing bullying. Diversion feeders with preferred food items for invasive species can also help keep them away from other feeders.

4. Use Deterrence
Devices like the Magic Halo or monofilament fishing line can deter invasive species like house sparrows from accessing feeders, allowing native birds to feed undisturbed.

5. Keep Seeds Off the Ground
Aggressive birds often feed on the ground, so using platforms or collecting excess seeds in containers can help deter them from dominating your feeding area.

However, bird feeding is a rewarding hobby that can attract a variety of species to your yard. By implementing these five tips, you can help maintain a balanced ecosystem while enjoying the beauty of native bird species. Have you tried any of these tips? Share your experiences in our Facebook bird fun club, click the link below!