About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Should I or shouldn’t I continue: Why I love to feed birds in the spring

Customer Hand-feeding a Yellow-rumped Warbler
There are always debates (sometimes in the same household) should I or shouldn’t I feed the birds in the spring. I love to feed the birds year-round. And each year I am rewarded by catching glimpses of new birds that show up exhausted and hungry from migration. While some warblers are still on their way to Michigan, this year I’ve already had kinglets, thrushes, grosbeaks, buntings, orioles, wrens and many more visiting. Some are just making emergency pit stops where they can grab a quick bite and a little rest before continuing north. Others make homes in or near my yard visiting occasionally and bringing babies up later on in the season!

Spring is a stressful time for the birds as they stake out territories, find mates, and raise families. I like to give them a little assistance. In return I get a yard full of beautiful birdsong, a rainbow of colors flying through the air and natural bug eaters patrolling the lawn.

The average backyard can be visited regularly by 15 to 20 different bird species. Offering a good seed, suet, mealworms, nectar and fruit as well as water is the best way to see a large variety of birds.

Wild Birds Unlimited offers several unique bird foods that are formulated specially for birds in our area, and all are free of cereal fillers and preservatives.

Bird feeding allows us to learn more about how birds behave, interact and raise their young. It is also an easy way to get our children outside, teach them about nature, and show them a way to focus on our world of green, not on a screen. Bird feeding gives us all a chance to create havens in our yard that contributes to preserving wildlife.

Related Articles:
How to choose the best suet cake http://bit.ly/xATYPQ
How to have more colorful birds at your feeder http://bit.ly/qizlNh
Why do Birds Scatter Seeds from Feeders? http://bit.ly/vZ6gzM
Choosing a seed blend to feed wild birds http://goo.gl/xUGKA


P. J. Bovio said...

I have been an Avian Care Volunteer at WRCMN for five summers, and birds are the joy of my life. I also have several families of various birds in the courtyard of my building. Blackbirds and sparrows and chickadees are nesting in the big tree right outside my window. My biggest joy is the male cardinal who visits me several times a day. I refer to my cardinal friend as Stanley, and our chattiest part of the day is between 4 AM and 5:30 AM when he sits right outside my window and we call to each other. Stanley starts with one type of call and we back-and-forth it for several minutes. Then he'll change to another type of call and we'll go back and forth with that. Stanley takes great glee in starting off with one call, then switching to another without warning, or only do half a call, just to see if he can trip me up!!
In my opinion, life would lose a great deal of its meaning without our avian friends!

Lois Bryan said...

I am delighted to read the story from P. J. Bovio. We moved about a year and a half ago, and I've been in mourning over losing my best friend, Pip. MY cardinal. To hear that someone else has a relationship with one of these guys truly makes my heart soar. Pip would call to me as I walked around the yard, or would let me know when it was time to re fill the feeders. And yes, we'd talk back and forth to each other, too. Bless him, he never got too complicated with his calls ... for me, it was just the quick chirp "Pip!" over and over.

Here he is: https://lois-bryan.pixels.com/featured/just-an-ordinary-day-lois-bryan.html

I made the people who bought our home promise to take care of Pip and his family and of course all our other birdies. ; ))

In our new home we are finally seeing cardinals. For months we had a wicked mockingbird who shoo'ed everyone away. I finally caught on to what was happening and removed the suet cakes and thistle for a few weeks. The mocker moved on, and finally the other birdies were able to revisit ... and now we're in full birdie swing. I don't have one particular cardinal as my best bud again, not yet ... not sure if something like that happens twice in a lifetime ... but I'm very hopeful.