Spring Migration & Nest Preparation
Over 100 North American bird species supplement their natural diets with bird seed, suet, fruit and nectar obtained from feeders.
Access to abundant and healthy food supplies is important to birds…regardless of the season. Bird feeders provide a portion of these important nutritional needs for your backyard birds throughout the year.
Birds with access to backyard feeders benefit greatly from their ability to spend less time foraging for food and more time engaging in activities that enhance their health and safety. These activities can include:
- Feeders allow breeding birds to spend less time searching for food and more time selecting better nesting sites and constructing higher quality nests.
- Research studies have shown that birds with access to bird feeders will often lay their eggs earlier than those without feeders. This is significant because earlier broods typically have better rates of survival and fledging success than later broods.
- When abundant food is accessible to parent birds, it means that more food is provided to their chicks. This extra nutrition can increase the nestling’s rate of growth and reduce aggression among nest siblings.
- Access to bird feeders allow breeding females to spend less time foraging which leads to better protection of eggs from predators, earlier fledging of the nestlings and higher survival rates of the brood.
The food and housing we provide can make a significant difference on how well birds will thrive and survive in our own backyards.
Change Up the Bird Foods You Offer to Match the Season
Migration, food preferences and weather vary continuously throughout the year, and these influence the bird activity at your feeders. Being “seasonally savvy” means you adjust your feeding program to match birds' changing behaviors. Learn to embrace seasonal changes, and you will attract more birds and experience even more fun!
For a Seasonally Savvy Bird Feeding Station:
- Keep your Foundational Feeder and Fat Feeder active and well maintained all year.
- When bird activity is greater or extreme weather arrives, expand the number of foods and feeders you offer.
- Change the types of feeders and food as migrating birds arrive, when fledglings begin to show up or as the seasonal habitats change:
- Add sunflower seeds (in the shell) to your food mix each fall to cater to the caching behavior of chickadees, titmice and nuthatches.
- Add a water feature to attract migrating warblers and offer Jim's Birdacious® Bark Butter® nearby. (Spreading it on tree trunks has shown to attract Brown Creepers)
- Orioles and hummingbirds – offer nectar feeders a week or two before their normal arrival dates. Offer fruit, jelly and mealworms for orioles, too.
- Add calcium enriched foods during nesting season.