Carolina Wren perched on a tube feeder.
(Photo © Skyliner72)

Bird Feeders

An easy way to attract birds is to put up a bird feeder. In cities it is best to use feeders with small perches suited for smaller birds that will not easily spill seed on the ground. Spilled food may attract rodents and larger flocks of unwanted birds.

Nectar feeders (or hummingbird feeders) are a great way to attract birds. Please don’t use red dyes. Simply dissolve 1/4 cup sugar in 1 cup hot water and let the mixture cool. Your feeder may attract hummingbirds, orioles, and downy woodpeckers.

Nyger seed feeders or thistle socks are also ideal for urban locations. Larger “pest” species, squirrels and other rodents aren’t attracted by these tiny seeds, but Nyger/thistle seed can be expensive. Finches, Pine Siskins, and Redpolls enjoy Nyger seed.

Suet feeders can be nailed to or hung from balconies and trees. These feeders attract a wonderful variety of birds, including woodpeckers, finches, chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, and jays.

Platform feeders, tube feeders, and house feeders filled with sunflower seed will attract the widest variety of birds!

If bird feeders are not permitted in your building, try a natural bird feeder! A simple potted sunflower or other seed- or nectar-bearing flower placed on your balcony may provide food for birds. Sunflowers are fun, colorful, and easy to grow. At least 43 bird species feed on sunflower seeds!

Learn more about feeding birds, or how to make your own bird feeders!

You can also get great information on feeding birds at All About Birds.

Learn other ways to attract birds to your corner of the world by providing water, nesting boxes, and bird-friendly plants.