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Bird at feeder

Spring is in full gear – and the birds are enjoying the warmer weather just as much as we are! Many of us keep feeders in our yards, and now is a great time to think about the feed you use, the birds you want to attract and maybe even adding another feeder (or two!) to your collection. Here are some tips to help keep wild birds healthy and happy this season, and all year round: 

• Know your birds. Become familiar with the birds that frequent your yard (and those you want to start attracting!) and then select the right feed and feeder to meet their needs. 
• Avoid iffy ingredients. If you choose to go for a premade feed mixture instead of making your own, always check the ingredients. Shelled and cracked corn can attract unwanted visitors and become harmful to birds when left in moist conditions. Golden and red millet are often used as filler seeds, and when not eaten, can become a breeding ground for bacteria. 
• Find the right suet. If you’re feeding with suet, know what types will work well with your season and climate (you don’t want a puddle of melted suet in your yard!). Hanging suet feeders close to tree trunks will help protect against the sun and encourage varieties of birds that prefer to cling while eating. 
• Prevent window collisions. Window reflections can easily confuse the birds wanting to make their way to your feeder. Prevent collisions by placing feeders either more than 30 feet from a window (far enough from confusing reflections) or closer than 3 feet (to help prevent birds from building up too much momentum).  
• Add a treat or two. Like many animals, birds can benefit from healthy treats when given on occasion. Clean, crushed eggshells help aid with digestion and provide calcium. Dried fruit provides great nutrients (avoid fresh fruit in feeders to steer clear of mold.) Pieces of string, cloth and yarn can also be added to help with nest building! 

What tips have worked well for your backyard visitors?

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