One of my favorite things of having a backyard garden is hanging bird feeders and watch the birds come to eat. It’s relaxing to sit and watch birds. Our feeders have been great way to get more birds in our yard. However, you have to be careful about placement or you’ll end up feeding raccoons and squirrels more of the food than you feed birds. The following are just a few great tips for hanging bird feeders this spring.
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5 Tips Hanging Bird Feeders
Since moving to Tennessee, I’ve become more familiar with a lot of the varieties of birds we have here. Some are temporary due to migration patterns, like the Yellow Finch or Ruby Throat Humming Bird.. Others, like the Cardinal, are here year round. We’ve had some other visitors come to our feeders, too. More than once we found our feeder at the bottom of hill, robbed of many sunflower seeds. And more than once we’ve had to replace the pole that our feeders hang from. But we’ve learned some tricks along the way that helps both us and our feathered friends enjoy our feeders.
We have a humming bird couple living in a nearby tree that come very times a day to drink.
1. Choose a Good Quality Feeder
A good quality feeder is important for a number of reasons. First of all, a good quality feeder is less apt to fall apart. Second, it will have a good place for birds to perch and an overhang to keep the birds and food dry. Whether or not you go with glass or plastic is up to you. Just be aware that the material used should be sturdy in case the feeder gets blown around in the wind.
We had rambunctious raccoon pull a lid from its nails before. So we got smarter about what feeders would last.
This was taken in early March during an icy storm. The birds were very busy eating to stay warm.
2. Hang Feeders Where You Can See Them
Obviously, you want to get the most from your bird feeder. This means choosing a location where you can see it and the birds that come to feed. Choose a room you spend the most time in, most likely your living room, and hang the feeder outside a window you can easily look out of. This will allow you to enjoy all the birds and their adorable antics.
I don’t recommend you do it on a porch. Birds are messy eaters. While living in an apartment, we kept a feeder on the patio. And, the birds took over the patio. I often had to sweep up sunflower shells and unwanted seeds. However, if your porch is large enough to have a spot for feeders, then it does have advantages as we’ll talk about next.
3. Hang Feeders Under an Overhang
Even though a good quality bird feeder will have an overhang to protect the food, it doesn’t hurt to put the feeder itself under an overhang for added protection. Not only that, but if the feeder is out of the elements, you’ll have more birds feeding on a rainy day. If your feeder is out of the direct sunlight it will also last longer.
In some feeders, the seeds get wet during heavy rains. That seed must be removed before it sprouts or spoils. Believe me that stuck-together globs of old, yucky seed is hard to remove afterwards.
Here’s one of our furry friends trying his best to get out some seeds.
4. Be Careful of Raccoons and Squirrels
When choosing a hanging location, keep in mind that raccoons and squirrels love bird food and are very crafty. It’s best to hang the feeder from a chain and make sure it’s high enough off the ground so a raccoon can’t reach it. You’re better off hanging the feeder from your roof overhang because that will also keep squirrels from climbing a tree limb and down the chain to reach the feeder.
We’ve have several of these furry animals come to eat dinner. They have wrecked a couple hanging poles and a few feeders. We gave up on trying to keep a suet feeder out there because they are gone in one night. We’re considering installing a baffle to our current stand.
5. Choose Locations Away From Your Car
Last, but not least, for obvious reasons, make sure the location you choose is far enough away from your car that it will deter birds from hanging out around your car. This will help keep your car much, much cleaner.
If you love birds, use these tips and hang a few high-quality bird feeders around your home where you can enjoy them. Just make sure they are hung in a way that raccoons and squirrels can’t easily access them. Oh, and keep them away from your car, trust me on this one.