Feeding wild birds during the hot weather of summer can bring new and interesting visitors to your garden. Beware of placing food that could easily melt or spoil in high temperatures, which could damage feathers.
Young chicks should receive crushed or roasted peanuts instead of whole peanuts as these may be more suitable. Provide these in platform feeders or small dishes or hang a peanut cage from trees for best results.
Sunflower seeds are an essential addition to any backyard feeder and offer many species a delicious source of fats, proteins, calcium, iron, vitamins B & E and potassium – unlike corn or millet which provide more carbohydrates than necessary for birds’ nutrition.
Hulled black oil sunflower seeds and striped sunflower hearts are favorite snacks among various bird species such as chickadees, cardinals, finches and nuthatches. As these seeds lack the hull found on other varieties, they can be delivered without needing an additional feeder hopper or mesh bag for serving purposes.
Sunflower seeds require minimal upkeep, as they do not attract rodents and squirrels like acorns do. You can soak sunflower seeds to extend their freshness for feeding to birds along with peanuts, suet cakes or fruit as a treat – although avoid feeding roasted seeds that contain salted ingredients which contain bacteria that could harm them.
Peanuts (Arachis hypogaea) belong to the Fabaceae family of legumes, along with beans and peas. Peanuts have long been an important crop since being first introduced into America during the early 1800s.
Add chopped apples and pears or dried fruit in a dish near your hummingbird feeder for Tennessee warblers and summer tanagers, and bananas during warbler migration season to draw in these species.
Avoid providing table scraps like bread or peanut butter during summer months as these offer no nutritional benefit to young birds and can damage feathers by sticking. While offering butter or sugar water as treats to hummingbirds may help them, keep its amounts limited so as to not attract magpies and other predators. A squirrel-proof feeder made of quarter-inch mesh hardware cloth may help deter pilfering efforts while suet is popular winter attraction, however its ingredients quickly melt in warm weather so for best results it should have no-melt suet cake made up of ingredients which remain solid even at higher temperatures.
Suet, which is composed solely of animal organ fat, provides birds with much-needed warmth during winter. Furthermore, its high energy content helps preserve body reserves while safeguarding them from predators.
Birds love suet in all forms – from spreadable “butters” for spreading onto branches and trunks to cakes and balls for use with specific suet feeders. Even nuggets in dishes or tubes that fit tube feeders are popular choices among birds.
Even though beef fat suet can be offered all year-round, in hotter summer temperatures it should be used less frequently due to heat making it melt or go rancid. Some manufacturers offer no-melt options that reduce spoilage risks while blended with cornmeal can keep the suet drier and help protect from squirrels, skunks and raccoons gobbling it all up quickly – it would also help if feeders were placed in shady locations with baffles around them to help discourage wildlife from raiding them quickly!
Grape jelly can be an attractive treat for birds such as Eastern bluebirds and robins, drawing in many species like them to feed off of it. However, grape jelly should not replace natural sources of nectar like flowers and fruit for nectaring birds – fruit jelly also offers energy as well as additional essential nutrients that are often lacking in wild bird diets.
Although providing birds with additional foods is an effective way to attract them into your backyard, planting seeds that attract birds and creating habitats are still best. If you can’t provide what the local bird population requires for sustenance, using multiple feeders and offering various foods will ensure all birds get what they require.
Make the most of your bird feeding experience by selecting feeders tailored to each species of bird you are feeding, such as those designed specifically for hummingbirds with shallow reservoirs and long tubes or ports; on the other hand, orioles, catbirds, and robins prefer shallow trays that allow them to perch without creating sticky mess when perching and feeding.