wild bird centers

How to Attract Birds

Feeding and watching birds is one of the most popular hobbies in the United States. Some of the reasons for its popularity include:

One of the very best side effects is that the more you do to attract more and different birds, the better it is for the birds! A real win-win situation.


In this section we will provide information on how to attract both more birds and a greater variety of birds.

Remember to feed responsibly by keeping your feeders and birdbaths clean.

Select from the menu items on the left for detailed information. If you are just beginning to feed birds, here are a few things you should know.


altamira oriole

An Altamira Oriole enjoying an orange.
Orioles can be attracted by oranges, grapefruit or even grape jelly!


What you don't know you don't know - about attracting birds.

Benefits to the birds...

Loss of habitat is one of the greatest threats to birds. By developing your 'backyard habitat' you can help make up for the losses in natural habitats. The food, water and cover you provide can be especially helpful during these periods:

Benefits to you...

The three ingredients for attracting birds...

The best situation, of course, is to offer all three elements. The birds will thank you for it.

Issues you may face...

These are some of the problems you may face if you feed birds. There are good solutions to all of them, detailed in the sections on Food and Feeders.

All of these problems can be easily solved or greatly reduced by the appropriate selection of feeder and feed. Well, most of them anyway. You may find that squirrels are a formidable foe, but then they can be fun to watch also.

Quick tips on how to attract birds:

Bird baths:

Bird baths provide water for drinking and bathing.  Add the sound of moving water by adding a dripper or mister to the bird bath.  Provide open water in your bardbath in the winter.  Birds that will not visit your feeders will visit a bird bath.

Bird Feeders:

The are several different bird feeder styles, including hopper, tube and platform.  Each bird feeder design has its own set of advantages and drawbacks.  Wooden bird feeders are often in the style of platform or hopper feeder.  Some wooden bird feeders are very elaborate in design.  Treated wood should not be used in a bird feeder. The section on bird feeders has the information you need to make an informed selection. 

What do birds eat?

Birds eat a mix of seeds, fruit and insects.  Offering several different types of bird food will help attract the greatest variety of birds.  Start by using black oil sunflower.  Then mix in suet cakes, nyjer©, peanuts and even fruit.