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Bird Feeding

Bird feeding is one of the most popular hobbies in the United States. Its popularity stems from these three elements.
    •    Birds are colorful and fun to watch.
    •    Feeding birds is low-tech. Anyone can do it.
    •    Feeding birds is low cost.

The Frugal Bird Feeder

Anyone can enjoy feeding and watching birds. Here are a few tips from the Frugal Feeder to get you started.

Window ledge

Brick homes often have a narrow window ledge extending out from the edge of the home. This ledge serves nicely as a platform feeder. Sprinkle once a day with sunflower seed or chips to attract juncos, cardinals and mockingbirds. 

You may need to start by spreading a few seeds on the ground but near the window.  After the birds find the food on the window ledge you can stop feeding on the ground.

This approach has the advantage of bringing the birds up close, so they can be studied and enjoyed. The use of sunflower chips  eliminates most clean up requirements. You may need to rinse the window ledge on occasion.

Peanut butter

Many bird species love peanut butter. Here are some tips on using it.
    •    Purchase the largest, cheapest jar of peanut butter you can find.
    •    Mix in a little corn meal to thicken up the peanut butter.
    •    Spread on a tree trunk or limb.
    •    Enjoy the birds.

This will attract woodpeckers, some sparrows, nuthatches, wrens, and some warbler species, as well as cardinals and mockingbirds.

A feeder can be made by drilling holes in a board or dead limb.  Hang the board or limb and fill with the peanut butter mix.

Check the Bird Feeder/Feed sections for more on feeding and attracting birds.

Birding Quick Hits

Blue Jays do Johnny Appleseed one better.  After the retreat of the last ice age, oak trees spread back north faster than might have been expected.  There is speculation that Blue Jays helped the process by caching acorns underground, some of which grew into new trees.