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Create a feeding frenzy
The right kind of bird feeder and food inside it can bring all sorts of friends to your yard
0502Bird1
An all-purpose bird feeder. - photo by Mike Phillips

0502BirdFeedersAUD

Peter Gordon, director of education at Elachee Nature Science Center, talks about the new migration patterns of the Green Breasted Mango hummingbird.

As the thermometer continues to climb, the flowers are in full bloom and the birds are flitting about. So, why not pass a little treat their way by hoisting a new bird feeder in your yard?

It’s pretty easy to choose a nice feeder to attract lots of birds, said Peter Gordon, director of education at Elachee Nature Science Center.

“It’s a combination of maybe the feeders with the combination of food that is in them,” said Gordon. “The cylindrical feeders ... are probably are one of the most popular feeders. They are a big plastic cylinder with little perching rods that come through it and it is designed for black oil sunflower seed.”

That’s part of the bird feeder’s allure too, he said: The food.

“The sunflower seed is probably, for your money, the best seed to have to attract the greatest number of birds.”

Ted Palmer, manager at Chase’s Ace Hardware in Gainesville, said many customers have come in for bird feeders this year, but “everybody is buying something different.”

The all-purpose bird feeder
This cylindrical feeder will attract the most birds to your yard — just make sure it is in a safe spot for birds to land.
“The cylinder feeders are good,” Gordon said. “It all depends on your house — you can put a feeder anywhere ... as long as they are kept clean and they are put in a safe place in terms of where the birds feel comfortable feeding.
“Which means near some vegetation, where a bird will take a seed go to a tree, limb or bush and eat the seed and come back and grab another seed.”

Hummingbird feeders
Years ago, hummingbirds only arrived in the Northeast Georgia area a couple times a year during migration. But now, you can keep a feeder up all year.
“It used to be we would say put it up in March and take it down in April, but now with the change of behavior for hummingbirds it’s good to keep a hummingbird feeder up all year round,” Gordon said. “If you have hummingbirds, especially in the fall when they head back for migration, they will drain it in a day or two.”
Remember to keep the feeders very clean with fresh food and leave the feeder in the same location.
“The hummingbirds are very much creatures of habit,” Gordon said. “Because they are so territorial I would move it to some spot away from the other bird feeder because hummingbirds are just pesky little guys and they won’t put up with much and if they have a nest near by they will be very territorial.”

Finch bird feeder
Palmer said finches are “kind of particular about what they eat out of,” so getting a special feeder for these little guys is ideal. Finches will typically be attracted by black oil sunflower seed, according to Gordon. The model from Chase’s Ace Hardware is a little more decorative than the all-purpose cylindrical feeder. 

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