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GardenSMART :: Figuring Out Preferred Feed And Feeders For Your Backyard Birds This Fall

Figuring Out Preferred Feed And Feeders For Your Backyard Birds This Fall

By Cole's Wild Bird Products, Co.
Photographs courtesy of Cole's Wild Bird Products, Co.

Preparing to feed birds in fall through winter takes some thought and planning. It's important to be sure you provide the proper feed to help birds boost their energy, and the proper feeders, too.

Different species of birds not only prefer different types of feed, they prefer different types of feeders. Consider providing a variety of feeder types to increase the diversity of your feathered friends.

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A tube feeder is a "must-have." These all-purpose feeders keep seed dry during inclement weather while allowing a wide variety of birds to feed from multiple ports. Tube feeders are versatile and can be used for sunflower and blended seeds, and specialty feed like Suet Kibbles. Cole's Wild Bird Products, Co.'s Terrific Tube Feeder comes with natural grip perch covers that mimic the feel of real branches and encourage longer feeding times. It's the perfect feeder for beginners and experts.

If you want to attract birds that cling, like woodpeckers and chickadees, a mesh feeder allows clinging birds to grasp the side of the feeder while selecting food – and prevent larger, more aggressive birds from hogging the feed.

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Or for an easy-to-use, one-size-fits-most feeder, select a bowl-style feeder like Cole's Bountiful Bowl, with a protective dome that can be raised and lowered to thwart large birds and squirrels from getting to the feed while helping to protect seed from rain and snow. Easy to hang and fill, bowl feeders accommodate any seed, suet – a critical source of energy for birds in cold weather – or even chopped fruit.

A necessary chore is to clean out any residue before filling with fresh seed. Unfortunately, some feeders are hard to scrub out, but Cole's tube feeders have a built in "quick-clean" feature, making cleaning easy. Just push a button and the bottom pops off for easy access to the inside. Use soapy water and a bottlebrush to scrub, then rinse with cool water. This ensures that mold or mildew aren't present and helps prevent disease.

Be sure to fill feeders with top-quality feed, which means less waste and ensures an increase in birds at your feeders.

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Your seed choices should provide birds with the biggest energy boost possible. Sunflower is a great seed option for winter because it's rich in oil, which attracts birds and provides plenty of energy. Peanuts are another high-energy option. Choose hulled varieties that are whole and more nutritious than peanut pieces. And don't forget high-fat foods like suet, the solid fat rendered from beef or vegetables that provides concentrated energy to help birds maintain their increased metabolic rate during winter when their normal food sources are scarce.

Once you've figured out your feeders and feed, you'll be ready to enjoy a beautiful array of backyard birds throughout the fall and winter season. For more information, please visit


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