Watching, Attracting and Feeding Birds in New York
with Sam Crowe
Issues you may face when feeding birds
These are some of the problems you may face if you feed birds. There are good solutions for all of them. Visit the Food and Feeders section for details.
- Squirrels - Squirrels can consume large quantities of sunflower seed.
- Rodents - In some cases, large amounts of dropped seeds can attract rodents.
- Germinating seeds - Seeds that fall under feeders may germinate.
- Less-desirable birds - Introduced species such as House Sparrows and starlings can sometimes dominate a feeder.
- Improper seed choices - Bird feed sold in grocery stores and discount stores is often not appropriate for hanging feeders.
Check the ingredients before you buy. Seeds like milo and millet are best served on the ground and are most popular with sparrows and doves.
All of these problems can be easily solved or greatly reduced by the appropriate selection of feeder and feed. Well, most of them anyway. You may find that squirrels are a formidable foe, but then they can be fun to watch also.
We invite you to come back often. The home page is updated every week.
Size is an important clue in bird identification
One of the best way to start identifying a bird is to determine its size. This can more difficult than one would expect. On our NameThatBird.com web site people can send us photographs of birds to identify. The size information is sometimes not very accurate, and is sometimes way off. In some cases the size information we receive is off by as much as a factor of 10!
When trying to determine size try to compare the bird to a nearby object of known size. Is it near a bird that you know, or near an object like cola can? The Northern Cardinal is common at many feeders and can provide a good size comparison for backyard birds.
The Birdzilla.com site has an extensive section on birding identification.
Male Northern Cardinal