5 Ideas to Feed and Attract Migrating Birds

Attract more spring birds to visit your backyard bird feeders during migration season with these proven tips from readers.

Red headed woodpecker feeds on suetCourtesy Meg Kolodick
Red-headed woodpecker

Spring migration is an exciting time for backyard birdwatchers. You just never know which species will stop by your feeders for a visit each day. Birds & Blooms readers shared their best tips for attracting spring birds, from bluebirds to orioles. So fill up those bird feeders, grab your binoculars and get ready to be amazed.

Offer Suet and Fruit

“I hang a suet cage at the edge of our yard and attach orange slices to it in spring. This not only attracts suet-eating spring birds like woodpeckers, but also brings in the beautiful Baltimore orioles,” says Diane Gratton of Knowlton, Quebec. Learn how to attract orioles to your yard.

Help Ground-Feeding Birds

“When worms are scarce in early spring, I leave pieces of suet on the ground for the American robins. They feed on the suet until the weather warms up,” says Phyllis Schabacker of Fountain City, Wisconsin. Birds also love to feed on these berry plants.

Attract Finches with Thistle Seed

“To feed American goldfinches, I use a large cheesecloth bag and fill it with thistle seed. I hang it from a wire fence in my backyard and watch the finches flock to it,” says Marguerite Debnam of Greensboro, North Carolina. Here’s how to attract goldfinches to your garden.

Serve Grape Jelly

Grape jelly will also attract spring birds, including orioles. “I supply grape jelly in large quantities. My oriole feeder has a protective roof and a deep plastic dish for holding heaping servings of jelly,” says Roland Jordahl of Pelican Rapids, Michigan. Follow these tips to feed birds all year long.

Share Live Mealworms

“Buy live mealworms from a local bait shop and set a few on a tray feeder. The bluebird parents will snatch the mealworms up and take them to their chicks,” says Jerilyn Veltus of Nellsville, Wisconsin. Here’s our guide to feeding mealworms to birds.

Lori Vanover
Lori Vanover is the senior digital editor for Birds & Blooms. She enjoys growing vegetables in containers and raised beds and watching for birds in her backyard.