With migration season in full swing, it’s time to make sure your feeders are full and that you’re offering a wide variety of food to attract the most birds. While sunflower seeds are an obvious choice, some birds prefer fruit, suet, insects, or nectar. A hopper feeder may help deter squirrels, but some birds prefer to perch or cling when they feed.
This weekend, why not try a new kind of feeder and a new kind of food? Here are the feeders I’m including in my yard this migration season:
Platform Feeder: A platform feeder attracts birds that prefer more room to feed, or those that generally feed on the ground. Mine is covered to keep off pesky Muscovy ducks, but an open feeder will attract even more birds.
**Foods I Offer: Safflower seed (squirrels in my neighborhood don’t like it), Seed and Fruit Mixes
**Frequent Visitors: Northern Cardinal, Tufted Titmouse, Yellow-Rumped Warbler
Suet Feeder: Most folks know that suet feeders are the best way to attract woodpeckers. Consider buying or building one that includes a tail prop, which is especially popular with larger woodpeckers.
**Foods I Offer: I use no-melt suet year-round in Central Florida.
**Frequent Visitors: Red-Bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker
Ball Cling Feeder: This style of feeder seems to have become more popular recently. They are fairly small, so perfect for smaller clinging birds.
**Foods I Offer: This works best with black oil sunflower seed.
**Frequent Visitors: This is a new feeder for me, so I’m waiting to see who visits. Further north, chickadees and nuthatches love these feeders.
Block Seed Feeder: A block feeder allows you to offer seed cakes for larger birds that like to cling. They’re easy to fill and keep clean.
**Food I Offer: I like to use blocks that include fruit, nuts, and corn.
**Frequent Visitors: Northern Mockingbirds, Red-Bellied Woodpeckers
Mealworm Feeder: Insect-loving birds rarely visit seed feeders, but you can bring them to your yard by offering mealworms. My feeder is designed as an open tray covered by a dome to keep out rain and bigger birds.
**Food I Offer: Live or dried mealworms
**Frequent Visitors: Northern Mockingbirds, Eastern Bluebirds
Nectar Feeder: Both hummingbirds and Baltimore Orioles love to visit nectar feeders, and both of these are more common in the deep South in the fall and winter.
**Food I Offer: Sugar water made from 4 parts water, one part sugar
**Frequent Visitors: Ruby-Throated Hummingbird