How to Feed Birds on Patio or Apartment Space
Having birds stop by your patio can brighten any day. We love to see that our feathered buddies have made time to stop and check things out at our place. You don’t need a sprawling back forty to attract birds to your space. Birds make their way around looking for nice, safe locations to feed. Kind of like they are looking for that cozy hole in the wall restaurant - with these tips we can make your space that place for the birds.
If you want to attract birds to your apartment or patio, follow these steps!
When getting your area ready for the birds it is important to think of what type - or types - of feeders you want. If you are looking for somewhere to start, a hopper or fly through feeder are great options. These allow for birds of all sizes to feed, and it gives them a chance to pick what they want to eat. As your bird feeding obsession inevitably grows, so will your variety of feeders. When getting more feeders try to think of the types of birds you are looking to invite to your back patio. Want finches? Then a nice thistle feeder will work. Woodpeckers? Maybe a peanut or suet feeder. Hummingbirds... I mean do we need to really ask? Who doesn’t want hummingbirds in their yard!? Then a hummingbird feeder for the summer will be magic.
Types of Seed
This is more important for folks living in townhouses and apartments then it would be when you may have a larger yard. Many people do not like seeing the hulled shells on their patio or may have a smaller tolerance to millet sprouting in their yard. If that is the case, we would recommend going with a no waste seed or if you do not want to deal with millet, then hulled sunflowers. Hulled sunflowers are pricier than other seeds, but all birds love sunflowers and rarely pass them up. The shell of the sunflower makes up 34 percent of the weight of that seed so when buying a bag of hearts all that added weight goes straight to feeding the birds.
Prevent Sprouting in Your Beautiful Beds
As mentioned, a common complaint we hear from folks is they hate the sprouting of the different seeds in their beautiful beds. One option is using seeds that will not germinate. Common examples include sunflower hearts, nyjer/thistle and roasted peanut pieces. If you want to use sunflowers, safflower, and millet in your feeder but don't want to see those sprouting seeds compete against your newly planted flowers, try using some corn gluten meal in your beds. As a natural pre-emergent, you can create a barrier on the soil that will leave your current plants alone while preventing new seeds from germinating. Look to apply under your feeders every 6-8 weeks.
When you eat, you gotta drink!
When making this destination for your feathered visitors, try to incorporate everything they may want - don’t forget the water source! This can be as simple as a dish or birdbath. The water is important to their survival and in the summer you will see them take to the water to play and cool off. It is a lot of fun to see them play in the water!
Is there a bird that is more synonymous with our summers than hummingbirds? These guys come in late spring and will stay until the weather starts to cool in the fall. To attract hummingbirds, it helps to make a buffet of their favorite flowers, favorite colors and add a feeder in with it. They love hot colors (red, oranges and yellows), but will figure out which flowers have more nectar and will quickly learn to go to those. They love plants like honeysuckle, fuschia, salvia, mandevilla, hibiscus and many more. While you're setting this up you can prepare your hummingbird feeder near some of their favorite plants. And for the nectar, you can make it from scratch or get it premade. I recommend keeping your feeder shaded, as to not make the nectar hot (if you are really committed you can refrigerate the nectar for them). Hummingbirds are fun because you don’t need a whole lot of space to attract them.
It doesn’t take a lot of space to have some feathered friends visit. With some of these tips, you too can experience the rewarding feeling of this tiny piece of wildlife come to your patio or backyard. What are some birds you love to see in your backyard? Send us some pictures of what your feeding area is looking like these days!