Helpful Tips

Feeding Tips

To maximize the number of species that visit your yard, keep a variety of feeders filled, offer multiple seed types, and feed year-round.  Nature’s Way Bird Products offers many styles of bird feeders (cedar, bamboo, sunshine, and nectar) for various types of seeds and feed, and many of our feeders offer spacing that will attract larger birds to your backyard.  Always offer quality seed in your feeders to increase the number and variety of birds with less wasted seed.  Store extra seed in a clean, dry container and always check for mold before placing in the feeder.  Also consider gardening and landscaping, including water features or birdbaths, to duplicate natural habitats as a way to entice birds to visit your yard throughout the seasons. 

 

What type of seed/feed?

While birds sometimes surprise us with their seed/food choices, the seed listed below typically attract these birds:

  • Mixed seeds: Cardinals, Grosbeaks, Titmice, Nuthatches, Chickadees, Finches, Jays, Juncos
  • Sunflower: Cardinals, Grosbeaks, Titmice, Nuthatches, Chickadees, Juncos
  • Thistle (Nyger): Finches, Siskins
  • Suet Cake: Woodpeckers, Jays, Titmice, Chickadees, Nuthatches
  • Nectar: Hummingbirds, Orioles
  • Grape Jelly/Orange halves:  Orioles
  • Mealworms:  Bluebirds, Wrens, Chickadees
  • Peanuts:  Jays, Woodpeckers
  • Chopped apples/dried fruit:  Woodpeckers, Mockingbirds, Catbirds, Robins

Ultimately the size, shape, and type of a feeder will determine the type of seed used and the birds that will visit that particular feeder.

 

Where should I place my Nature’s Way feeder?

The best way to determine where most birds prefer to have their dinner in your yard is by experimenting.  Here are a few things to consider:

  • Placing your feeder (cedar) near natural cover (such as trees, shrubs, and other vegetation) provides nearby shelter for birds to view their feeding area so they can see any predators while waiting for their turn to feed.  Many birds like to bring the seed to a safe area to eat it.  But be careful not to put your feeder too close as it can provide cats with ambush spots and jump-off points to catch birds, as well as squirrels easier access to the feeders!  It is best to keep the feeder about 10-12 feet from any tree or obstacle.
  • Placing feeders near flower beds or planters may help you attract more birds to your yard.  The bright colors and seeds of flowers attract many birds, such as finches and hummingbirds (nectar).
  • Consider placing your birdfeeder (bamboo) in quiet, yet convenient, areas sheltered from wind, rain and snow so the birds in your yard can feel safe and comfortable while they eat, and you won’t mind filling it in bad weather!  The south side of the house is generally the warmest, but areas buffered by trees and shrubs also offer good placement areas.
  • You will want to place the feeder (sunshine) so you can observe the birds through a window or from your outdoor living spaces, but you will want to consider the “mess” factor!  When feeding birds there will be feathers, seed shells, and droppings. 

When initially putting up a new feeder, be patient!  Birds are creatures of habit and may not take to a new feeder right away.  But once they find it, you will enjoy many hours of bird watching!

 

Why clean feeders?

No matter what type of feeder or type of food you provide, cleaning birdfeeders is an easy way to keep your backyard flock healthy and avoid spreading diseases among birds.  Dirty feeders allow the seed to spoil and harbor mold and bacteria.  Rancid seed can attract unwanted wildlife such as mice, rats, raccoons, and insects.  Spoiled seed can cause wood decay and difficulty in cleaning the feeder which may cause additional damage.  Caked seed can clog feeding ports, hinges and other parts causing it to crack, warp or break.  Feeders should be cleaned 1-2 times a month depending on its frequency of use.  Nectar feeders should be cleaned 1-2 times a week.  Clean birdfeeders and feeding areas will attract more birds and keep all backyard birds healthier for you to enjoy!

 

Feeder Cleaning Tips

Nature’s Way Bird Products has made maintaining clean feeders easier with our innovative and patented bird products!

Nature’s Way Bird Products’ Bamboo and Cedar Series features feeders with the patented Fresh Seed™ tray.  The Fresh Seed™ tray keeps seed fresh by allowing water to drain and air to flow freely.  When necessary, the rust-free seed tray lifts out easily for quick and thorough cleanings.

Nature’s Way Bird Products’ Sunshine Series features feeders using the innovative and patented Twist & Clean™ technology.  Simply twist and pull to remove the feeder’s base, ports, and perches, as well as the ends of the innovative Slide Connect™
sunflower and thistle horizontal tube feeders, for ease of cleaning.  The Sunshine Series features feeders that are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning of the entire feeder. 

Nature’s Way Bird Products’ Nectar Series features innovative Easy Fill & Clean™ glass feeders that can be taken out of their decorative hangers for cleaning.  The Easy Fill & Clean™ feeders’ lids or bases and glass flowers can be removed, allowing the entire feeder to be placed in the dishwasher for easy cleaning.  Or if desired, the nectar feeders’ featured extra-wide openings allow for easy hand cleaning.

If you should choose not to use the dishwasher for cleaning the Nature’s Way Bird Products' feeders, or for feeders that cannot be washed in the dishwasher, feeders can be sanitized with a solution of one part bleach to nine parts hot water, or with a mild solution of unscented dish detergent and warm water.  Rinse thoroughly with water and let dry completely before refilling.  Washings can be less frequent if you give your feeder a quick cleaning every time the feeders are refilled:  scrape, dump, or shake out any seed clumps and excess debris before refilling the feeder.


Where should I place my Nature’s Way Bird Products birdhouse?

Your immediate habitat, local birds, and size and placement of the birdhouse are important in attracting birds.  Here are a few simple rules to follow when selecting and placing your birdhouse:

  • Research the type of bird(s) you are trying to attract.  This will assist you in purchasing the proper type/size of birdhouse as well as the proper type of habitat to place it in. Nature's Way Bird Products' cedar and bamboo houses will attract different species of birds depending on where the houses are placed.
  • Position your birdhouse so it will be relatively safe from predators such as squirrels, cats, and snakes.
  • Face your birdhouse away from the prevailing winds in your area to keep rain from entering the box.
  • Provide a nearby perch to allow the birds to stop and take a look around before making their way to their nest.
  • Consider placing multiple birdhouses.  This gives birds the opportunity to choose the house that suits them best.
  • Offer food and water.  Having a bird bath or pond and a bird feeder will provide the birds needed food and water for themselves and their growing young.
  • Areas where pesticides and herbicides are used should be avoided.  They are harmful to birds and decrease or eliminate the insects many birds depend on for food.
  • Make sure your birdhouses are in place well before the breeding season begins. 

Be patient!  Don’t be discouraged if the birds do not begin nesting in your box immediately; sometimes it takes time for the birds to find it.  Wait a significant amount of time (a year if you’re patient enough) before moving it to another location.

 

Cleaning Bird Houses

An important part of attracting birds with nesting boxes is maintenance.  Birdhouses and nesting boxes should be cleaned at least once each year.  Nature’s Way Bird Products’ cedar and bamboo birdhouses feature clean-out doors making it easy to remove the old nest and any debris that has collected.  At minimum, cleaning should be done prior to nesting season in the spring; some recommend cleaning the nesting boxes after each brood has fledged.  This type of maintenance will reduce bird parasite problems and help keep the nest box useful longer.

 

For any additional information about Nature’s Way Bird Products, please Contact Us!