Bird Feeding Tips and Recipes!

April 22, 2020

hummingbird lavender

Have you heard new birds chirping outside lately?

Our local birds are migrating back. We enjoy watching them at our feeders, learning their quirks, how they relate to other birds, squirrels, and chipmunks who find their way to your feeders. 

Bird Feeder Hygiene 

If you have bird feeders, make sure they are clean and full all year round. This cleaning process will work for cleaning both wooden and plastic bird feeders. To clean your feeder, a run through the dishwasher on a hot setting. Take your feeder apart carefully or handwash it. Use either soap and boiling water.

Cleaning Solution for Feeders

You can make a cleaning solution from the cleaners you have on hand. Mix water and bleach no more than 1 part bleach to 9 parts water to make a bleach solution.

Clean feeders, rinse thoroughly, and allow to dry before refilling.

How to Keep the Ground under Feeders Clean

Bird feeder placement is the easiest way to prevent messes.  Position feeders on or above a cement, stone, deck, or porch. This will stop the seed from landing on your grass and sprouting. Frequent sweeping can help with keeping seeds from becoming a mess.

Keep your bird feeders full.

A useful spring mix guide for seed, try a mix of black-oil sunflower, white millet, and sunflower chips. After a long winter and the food supply gone, this is a healthy mix to help them.

All-natural food sources are scarce after winter. The Old Farmers Almanac has some tremendous homemade bird food recipes that can be used at any time of the year, but especially in the cold winter months when natural resources are scarce.

What not To Feed Birds

Avoid feeding birds these foods from your pantry. Avacado, fruits with seed bread is ok in small quantities. But because it has little nutritional value don't consider it a staple in their diet.

 Homemade Suet Recipe

You can make your suet; it's easy, and if you feed birds all year round, you will have most of the supplies handy.

Suet Cake Recipe 

  • one pound melted fat (beef fat or lard)
  • one cup millet
  • one 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • one cup raisins 
  • Two tablespoons honey (optional)


Melt the fat in a saucepan until completely liquid. Next, remove from heat and let sit for several minutes.

Stir in the remaining ingredients and cook for a few minutes.

Pour into small containers (tuna fish cans are good), and refrigerate until they start to harden and then store them in the freezer until ready for use.

The mixture can also be squeezed into 1-inch holes drilled in small logs to hang from trees.

The recipe can be prepared de all year long as long as you accumulate fat. Fasten containers securely to trees or feeders

Best time to Fill Feeders?

Birds have a high metabolic rate and are continually flying and on the move, they have a continual appetite. Be aware of the traffic at your feeders and keep them full. 

Should you feed year-round?

Feeding year-round is not necessary. Making sure your feeders are full is effective at times when birds need the most energy extreme temperatures or when chicks have hatched. But for your enjoyment, you sure can feed year-round..



spring facts


Bird Spotlight-Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are the smallest migrating bird. With an average weight of 1/8 of an ounce, Hummingbirds are the smallest migrating bird. They can travel as fast as 30 mph and their migratory path. They fly non stop across the Gulf of Mexico twice a year. That's a long journey for such a small bird!

Hummingbirds do not exist on just sugar water and nectar. It is a big part of there diet, we have a great easy recipe for you to make. They eat insects and tiny spiders to supply protein and also feed on tree sap. Who Knew?

Hummingbird Nectar Recipe

one cup of white cane sugar
three or four cups of spring water

Dissolve the sugar in the water. No red food coloring! The unused mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Learn More

You can learn more about birds, insects, and animals in one of the many Audubon Field Guides to identify the birds in your feeders, Just browse the Nature Collection at Reading Vintage.

 Stay Safe and Happy Reading,

Pam of Reading Vintage





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