Richard Bailey, a biologist with The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, explains the variety of birds that call West Virginia home. "We have a lot of different birds in West Virginia, and a lot of people can find them in their backyards, even in cities like Charleston and Morgantown. There are different types of feeders that attract different birds because different species of birds like different types of food."
You might think birds will eat anything and everything. They won't. If you want cute, little, perching birds, you want to put out a feeder they can use, and feel safe using. And you also want to make sure you put food in the feeder the little guys can't resist.
"One of the most popular feeders is one that would attract chickadees and titmice. It's a tube feeder and we generally fill it with black oil sunflower seed that's very nutritious and very high in energy. These birds will carry the seed away from the feeder and hammer it open with their bills to get to the sunflower inside." says Bailey.
Most all songbirds will eat black oil sunflower seeds, but not all can get to them if they are in a tube feeder. Some of the larger birds you might want to attract need something a little more substantial.
"We have platform feeders which is a platform on a post where you could scatter your feed on the platform. That's easier for cardinals, our state bird. They will come to that platform feeder since they can't easily perch on the tube feeder, they can walk around on top of it and get to the seeds." say Bailey.
A couple of other things to keep in mind is that when you buy wild bird food, you might want to look at the ingredients and make sure the feed has a high percentage of nutritious seed and a relatively small amount of filler. Also, suet is good for many varieties of birds, and there are many types, so you can find one sure to attract the species of songbirds you want chirping in your backyard this winter.
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