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When do you feed the birds?

  • Only in the winter months

    Votes: 12 38.7%
  • Year 'round

    Votes: 19 61.3%
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Discussion Starter #1
I was just wondering if it is a good idea to feed the birds year 'round. I heard that it wasn't because the birds end up depending on you for food. Some people in my area feed year 'round while others only feed in the winter months when the food supply is down. What are your thoughts and what do you do? Please vote in the poll. Thanks. :trink39:
 

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My wife feeds birds and six squirrels year round. She almost panics when we run out of food for them.
 

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All I know is I fill the feeders once a week,year round.Have heard that they
become more dependent on them in winter,than in summer.
 

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just to help them get thru the winter,want them to eat the bugs and flies in summer so it don't upset the balance of things.
 

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Late fall to mid spring. Usually stop when the hummingbirds show up. By that time most of the migratory birds are back needing food to rebuild strength. I just use cracked corn and sunflower seeds mixed about 1to3 sunflowers to cracked corn. It seems they all find something the right size to eat.
 

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Winter months. We get strange birds around here in May.
Large black birds, one showed up last week with 4 cubs.
 

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i feed them in the winter... i know wed get better looking birds in the summer, but i figure they are ok in the warm weather.. you gotta feel bad for birds when its 20 below and snowing in mid February... i cant believe they can actually survive...

i always put out about 4 suets and 2 feeders of seed...
 

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We feed year round (including squirrels), just like to watch them! They'd find something else if we didn't, I'm not worried about dependence. ~~ grnspot110
 

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We feed year round but there is so much food for them natually in the summer that the traffic is much lighter at the feeders. We love our birds. This has been the worse season since we have lived here (28 yrs.) for hummers. We have only seen a few...bummer! We really look forward to them comming each year. :fing32:
 

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We feed year round but there is so much food for them natually in the summer that the traffic is much lighter at the feeders. We love our birds. This has been the worse season since we have lived here (28 yrs.) for hummers. We have only seen a few...bummer! We really look forward to them comming each year. :fing32:
We had several Hummers early, just a couple now! Seems like they follow the Columbine bloom. Plenty of Baltimore Orioles though! ~~ grnspot110
 

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I feed all year round in increments.:) My living room has a 12' long 7' high picture window and we enjoy the nature show all year round. All year long I keep one large circular screen type feeder with black oil sunflower. In summer it will attract cardinals, finches, grosbeaks, jays, chickadees, nuthatches, an occasional red wing blackbird, morning doves... and squirrels (under it, see below for foolproof squirrel guard).

In winter I put up a mixed seed feeder to keep the year rounders fed in the cold. I don't do any hummingbird feeders anymore but I see them around.

I also entertain the squirrels in winter with my "Squirrely Whirly" which is a 3.5' long 1X1 with a deck screw set threads out in one end to hold the corn cob and a counter balance on the other, just enough to keep a cob in the top position. The center pivot screws into the end of a pine branch stub about 10' out from the trunk. Fun to watch the different "styles" of each squirrel riding the whirly for chow!

Bug and worm eating birds usually won't frequent bird seed feeders much anyway so feeding the other birds won't keep the meat eaters from their appointed rounds. An example is the bug/worm eating robin which I've never seen near one of my feeders. Jays and other omnivorous birds are the exception but they do eat plenty of natural food, feeders or not.

In Winter, birds need energy first thing in the morning when they wake and in the late afternoon to keep their energy for warmth going as they sleep through icy nights. Winter birds won't feed exclusively at bird feeders (though by your feed bill it might seem so.:D) they will go about and eat the natural remaining seeds and dried fruits. If you can only fill a feeder once a day, later in the afternoon is best in cold weather. If you time it right, the feed will be about ½ gone by dark and will be there to feed the early risers. Jays and cardinals especially are late day feeders and you might see cardinals out when it's almost dark getting his last energy food for the night.

Also, some birds will not feed at a pole or hanging feeder at all, they are the ground feeders. They might feed on a platform feeder but usually eat only seed or other food off the ground. But there's always exceptions to the rule like hawks which, at my feeders, prefer to take their meals "on the fly" and leave me just the wings and some feathers of "slower birds".:D

Attn: "Squirrel Haters":D Add 1 36" long section of cheap-o hardware store 6" stove pipe to your pole feeders, just under the feeder. They'll climb but they can't get past 6" pipe or larger. I use a pipe cap at the top and wire the open bottom of the pipe centered on the pole. Squirrel Boy will clean up what the birds drop after that. Hanging feeders?.... You're on your own!:ROF I gave 'em up except for a thistle seed "sock" type for the gold finches. Squirrels don't seem to bother with these around here.
 

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Fed only once snow flies. The birds can scrounge for seeds until then and also the local bear is hibernating by then also.
 

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"...also the local bear is hibernating by then also."
I take it then you have not perfected a "bear guard" for your feeders yet?:D:D We haven'ts seen any right here on the hill but they have been spotted across this area. My buddy's uncle lives about 4 miles from here and on night he took some trash out to the can on the back porch. He very nearly whacked a bear on the a$$ with the storm door!:D Bruno might make me change my feeding habits a bit!:D
 

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Pretty much year round, big bay window in the main room. Keeps me & the cats entertained.



Don't get very good light on the feeder for pics with the awning.

 

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Discussion Starter #18
I would like to thank everyone who replied and/or voted in my poll. There is a lot of good information in this thread. Not sure if everyone can see the voting results or not, but here they are. 23 voted. 10 only feed in the winter months, (43.48%) and 13 feed year 'round, (56.52%). I didn't vote because I'm somewhere in between the two. I usually have food in the feeders until around mid-June. I didn't fill it up again until the end of August, then kept it filled until the following June. I think I will keep it filled up this year and see how much traffic I get at the feeder. Thanks again everyone. :trink39:
 

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I will let it set empty for a few days during the summer before re filling.
 

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I may have to start feeding the Red Tail Hawks around here soon .. They are knocking the heck of my wren population .. I have seen them take out a few this week alone ... The wren nest in my propane tank lid wreaks .. I assume they hawks got the mama wren :Disgus:
 
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