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5 Ways to Make Wild Birds Happy

By creating an environment that makes your feathered friends happy, you’ll keep them coming throughout the year. Here are five ways to make your yard the birds’ happy place.

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Vary Feed and Don’t Be Crumby

Bread crumbs are low in fat and are actually harmful for birds during certain times of the year, such as winter, when they should consume high-energy foods, such as suet, fruits, nuts, and oily seeds. Experiment with birdseed, such as hulled sunflower seeds, thistle, safflower seed, black oil sunflower seed, and white millet, to see what birds you attract. Keep a platform feeder (a wood tray on a post) well supplied.

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Make Water Available

A birdbath is a sure way to attract birds. Make yours more appealing by setting a few stones in the water so they protrude half an inch or so. If winters are very cold in your area, you can buy a birdbath heater to keep the water from freezing and to provide a constant water source.

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Put Up Birdhouses

Buy a birdhouse specifically designed for the birds you want to attract (a store-bought birdhouse should include this information). Then place at the correct height: 2 to 5 meters for chickadees, for example, or 6 meters or more for woodpeckers. Clean out the birdhouse in late winter each year to attract more birds.

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Add Landscape Plants That Attract Birds

Birds like a variety of plants, but berry-producing species are especially appealing. So are seed-producing plants, such as sunflower and purple coneflower, as long as you permit the fading flowers to go to seed.

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Make Some Homemade Feed

This easy and inexpensive recipe delivers a food blend – that will help attract a wide variety of colorful and interesting birds to your garden.
2 cups (60 g) sunflower seeds
2 cups (60 g) cracked corn
2 cups (60 g) raisins
2 cups (125 g) crunchy Peanut Butter

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Press the mixture into an suet-style bird feeder or small string bag. Hang the feeder in a tree.