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Setting-up a Bird Bistro with Wild Bird Feeders & Seeds

Back in the early 90′s we started setting up feeding stations for our backyard birds. That’s when I really got to know their personalities. There’s something about sharing a meal with a friend (or in this case, watching birds eat) that breaks down the barriers and brings things to a more intimate level.

Songbirds are more likely to stay longer in an area where there’s an abundance of food supplied from a few well-placed feeders. The longer they stay, the more opportunities you will have to become familiar with their needs, funny habits and characteristics. And bird feeders are a great way to do just that.

My husband and I have bought and built many feeders through the years, and even though we have our favorites I’m always on the hunt for something different to add to our collection. So while shopping at, the striking floral silhouettes of the Avant Garden Lotus Wild Bird Feeder caught my eye and I couldn’t resist.

Whether you buy several feeders or make your own, you can attract more birds by offering different types of wild bird feeders.

Wild Bird Feeders

Platform Bird Feeders

These are designed with an edge around the bottom that keeps seeds contained. Placed 1 to 3 feet above the ground, this feeder type typically appeals to a variety of birds, especially ground feeders like juncos, towhees, chickadees and mourning doves.

Hopper Bird Feeders

These are often hung from a tree or mounted on a pole–feature perches on the sides and come in many shapes and sizes. This type attracts many species of seed-eating birds, including grosbeaks, cardinals and jays.

Tube Bird Feeders

These are long, cylindrical tubes equipped with feeding ports and perches. Though finches, pine siskins, redpolls and nuthatches are frequent feeders at this type, even grosbeaks and jays have been know to finagle a way to hang on and feed.

Specialty Bird Feeders

These are designed for a specific species or food–such as a fruit feeder, suet feeder or hummingbird feeder –or for a specific situation, such as a squirrel-proof feeder.

Types of Wild Bird Food

The seed offerings can be mind-boggling at best, however not all seeds or seed mixes hold the same appeal. Black-oil sunflower seeds are a high-energy seed and always a good buy as it is favored by the widest variety of bird species. We fill a few feeders with black-oil sunflower seeds and then offer a high-quality seed mix containing mostly sunflower seeds, millet and cracked corn. You need to be careful with seed mixes as birds kick out the less desirable seed in order to get to their favorite–which is, of course, black oil sunflower seeds. Seeds not especially popular with most backyard birds include milo, red millet, wheat and canary seed.


Bird Feeder Placement

Of course you want to place your feeders in areas where you can enjoy watching birds feed and easily access the feeders for refilling. I like to place one or two within view of a window so I can watch them feed from inside our home. Placing feeders within 5 to 10 feet of trees or shrubs will give birds easy access to protective cover. Get to know your backyard birds by offering a feeder or two. This extra amenity is all it takes to open the door to new levels of entertainment and enjoying your feathered friends.

Let the “Bird Bistro” begin! – Kris Wetherbee  


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kris wetherbee



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  1. Kris is a treasure trove of information for all garden information and questions from soil prep, to thousands of plant suggestions, to plant care, harvest, cooking and everything in between! today's blog about the Bird Bistro is another example. I really appreciate the convenience of the K-Mart website where I have had current pest or plant disease problems and got fast answers that I was able to put to use immediately. Thanks Kris!! :)

  2. My feeders have also been doing very well over the years. And so far the dome squirrel-deterrent device is working nicely :) ! The doves get their safflower seeds before the squirrels do (' ', !

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