Summer Bird Feeding The What, How, Why
Summer bird feeding in your backyard is very satisfying, both for you and the wild birds.
Some people are of the opinion that it is not necessary to feed the wild birds during the summer.
The truth is that it is never necessary for us to feed wild birds at any time of year.
Birds have survived for thousands of years without our help.
It is only for our pleasure and curiosity that we lure them to our backyards for bird watching.
What To Feed For Summer Bird Feeding?
1. What Seed Feeders Are Best?
Seed feeders filled with the most popular wild bird food, black-oil sunflower, will always attract the largest variety and number of birds.
Mixed seed with black-oil sunflower, striped sunflower, peanuts, white millet, and corn is also a good mix, but maybe a little harder to come by, as many sellers have mixes filled with grains and other seed that most songbirds we want to attract don’t eat. Learn what happens when you put a bad mix in your feeders.
Goldfinches are attractive birds to see at feeders.
To attract these beautiful birds for backyard bird watching, put out a specially adapted feeder filled with nyjer, as this tiny black seed is their favorite food.
But only put out enough for it to be eaten in a day as nyjer seed spoils very quickly and can grow mold or leave it for winter bird feeding when the temperatures are cooler.
How To Serve Seed?
Black-oil sunflower seed and mixed seed is best served in chalet, hopper style feeders and platform feeders.
Tube feeders are best filled with black-oil seed as the mixed seed that does not get eaten will clog up the feeder with uneaten seed.
Shelled sunflower is like nyjer seed, once taken out of its protective shell it deteriorates faster and therefore should be served in small amounts or saved for cool weather.
2. What Birds Will Nectar Feeders Attract?
Syrup feeders for Hummingbirds and Orioles are exciting summer bird feeding venues.
At one house we lived in, a pair of Baltimore Orioles used our feeder for a number of years.
The male always brought the young with him to the feeder when they were old enough.
We also had House Finches use our nectar feeders regularly too.
How To Use Syrup Feeders?
Ant motes keep ants from filling up your nectar feeders.
They are simply a reservoir to hold water which the ant must cross to get to the nectar.
Ants are highly attracted to the sweet liquid but a feeder with a built-in ant mote or one can be purchased to place between the hook and the feeder works to keep them out.
The ants drown before they get into the nectar.
Some oriole feeders have bee guards built-into the feeding ports, which is a very fine feature for keeping bees alive and out of your syrup.
To keep the feeders less attractive to bees, It is helpful to keep your feeders clean on the outside and not let the nectar drip when you are hanging it back up.
(One of the greatest causes of dripping nectar feeders is tightening them too far after filling them. Try to stop when you feel it catch. Resist the urge to give it one more turn to tighten it up a little more. Tightening too far can cause the threads to leak.)
Hummingbirds though, sometimes find the bee guards on Oriole feeders difficult to push past to get into the syrup.
So if you want to purchase a nectar feeder for both types of birds to use then avoid one that has bee guards.
But better still purchase one feeder suitable for Hummingbirds and one for the Orioles.
There are special bee guards for hummingbird feeders too.
That way the bees can be happy too and stick with flowers!
3. What Birds Like Jelly Feeders for Summer Bird Feeding?
Sharing your morning breakfast jelly is a treat bird attracted to syrup feeders and fruit will also enjoy.
Grape jelly and apple jelly are two favorites but experimenting with other flavors can also be very rewarding.
Choose brands that do not have additives, as birds having such small bodies compared with ours, can be affected by chemical additives.
Orioles will especially be appreciative of this treat but many other birds will have a taste too, like Red-breasted Grosbeaks and House Finches.
How To Feed Jelly To Birds?
There are many attractive jelly feeders on the market.
Some have a roof that prevents rain from filling up the feeder which is very helpful in keeping the jelly from being diluted with rainwater.
4. Fruit Feeders Attract Many Different Birds
We Know Orioles Love Them!
Fruit feeders are also a simple way to attract different birds which do
not frequent seed feeders.
Fresh fruit served up daily, such as
oranges, grapes, bananas or apples will be a welcome wild bird food by
Some of the birds you may attract with a variety of fruit are Woodpeckers, Orioles, Gray Catbirds, Bluebirds, Cedar Waxwings, Northern Mockingbirds, Robins, Towhees, House Finches, Rose Breasted Grosbeaks, Scarlet Tanagers.
Fruit & Jelly Feeders I Recommend & So Much Fun
5. What Birds Like Mealworms?
Another type of delectable wild bird dish that can be added to the summer bird feeding buffet table or any season is mealworms.
Who could possibly resist freeze-dried mealworms? Not Bluebirds or many other bug-eating birds.
At first thought, this may not appeal to some bird watchers. But learning that Blue Birds, Warblers, Woodpeckers, and other insect-eating species will be the grateful diners, helps to take the distaste away from serving such a meal.
Don’t miss out on this wonderful bird watching opportunity.
Below is a selection of feeders designed to serve mealworms Order mealworms right here on this page with an appropriate feeder and have great fun!
How To Serve Mealworms?
Mealworms ~ Who can resist?
The feeders below were selected because dried mealworms are very lightweight and will blow easily out of a feeder if not protected from the wind.
Dried and live mealworms are selected below but be aware that live ones are quite “frisky” and will need to be contained or they will crawl away!
6. Can You Feed Suet To Wild Birds In Summer?
Summer bird feeding with suet may sound like a paradoxical statement.
But it is entertaining bird food.
Summer suet is heated so that it resists melting during higher summer temperatures. More about suet.
It should not contain preservatives.
It is best to hang it in the shade where it will be a little cooler.
Parent birds of many species will feed suet to their young as an energy booster to their diet.
Woodpeckers, Chickadees and Nuthatches who are the birds we usually think of as suet eaters, will appreciate the year-round consistency of having this food in the summer as well.
7. What Happens When A Bird Bath Is Added To A Backyard?
Attracting wild birds is quicker & easier than with a bird feeder.
Birdbaths are also an exciting venue for backyard bird watching. Wild birds require water like all living creatures. They need it for drinking, bathing and when all of their other needs are met, frolicking!
Birdbaths will also attract birds that normally do not come to traditional bird feeders for seed. See more about birdbaths here.
A few tips if you want to purchase from this page:
- In my experience wild birds prefer darker colored baths.
- Choose easy to clean materials like metal, glass or hard plastic.
- Keep water level under 2 inches deep or add stones for the smaller birds to stand on.
Best Rated Bird Baths & Accessories
I Have a Great Selection of Summer Bird Feeding Supplies with Gold Star Ratings for You
Why Summer Bird Feeding Is A Wonderful Season For This Great Hobby?
1. A greater number of birds can be attracted than any of the other 3 seasons.
2. A much broader variety of birds can be attracted as well.
3. Observing parent birds with their young is educational and fun.
4. Many wild bird pairs will raise multiple broods.
5. Males of many species are brightly colored during the mating season which adds to the joys of bird watching.
6. Generally, the weather is more co-operative making it easier to look after bird feeders and baths.
Summer feeding provides the potential of attracting a far greater variety of birds than in the winter bird feeding season.
Summer is the most heavily bird populated season for the northern United States and Canada.
If a bird feeder is only put out in the winter, the opportunity to observe the birds during their active spring and summer season will be missed.
Numerous wild birds return in the spring to nest and raise their baby birds.
This behavior will repeat itself many times over the course of the summer as some species may raise two to four families in one season.
Summer bird feeding increases a bird watcher’s opportunity to witness these wonderful events.
The parent birds will bring their young to backyard bird feeders after the young have fledged from the birds nest.
This provides a fascinating occasion to see the parents feeding their young. They will be using the bird food from your feeder too!
These are moments that you will not want to miss and will be able to witness while summer bird feeding.
Some birds, such as the Goldfinch, will be dressed in their mating plumage for the summer season.
The male Goldfinch keeps his bright yellow color for most of the summer.
Then they begin to turn back to the yellowy green color of the female during the autumn season.
What Is The One Caution About Feeding Birds In Summer?
If You Do Summer Bird Feeding ~ Hygiene Is Important
The only caution around summer bird feeding is the concern for cleaning feeders often enough to prevent bacteria build-up.
Bacteria will grow more quickly in the heat of the summer of course so extra care must be taken.
If the food in a feeder is spoiling before it is eaten, but smaller amounts in the feeder.
Secondly, you may have to purchase a better quality seed with no fillers.
The poor quality mixed seed contains types of milo and sorghum, a seed that wild birds don’t eat.
The result is the seed sits and rots, either in the feeder or on the ground where the birds have tossed it, causing the perfect environment for disease to grow and spread.
Patience with new bird feeders and baths is mandatory! It takes time for wild birds to adjust to any changes in a backyard.
It is best to place new feeders at least ten feet away from existing feeders until visitors are frequenting the new addition. It can then be moved if desired.
So for summer bird feeding success, deck your backyard with a good variety of bird feeders, baths, and houses and watch the avian highway grow!
Will birds migrate in the fall if you leave your feeders up?
More About Summer Bird Feeding
- Summer Bird Feeding
A very rewarding season to feed and house wild birds. There is such a
variety of bird life and feathered family activity to enjoy.
- Where Have My Backyard Birds Gone? Any time of year the birds in our backyards sometimes seem to disappear. It may not be a usual time for migration, which makes us wonder what happened to them. Discover the reasons.
The Other 3 Seasons
- Spring Bird Feeding An exciting time when wild birds return to their northern breeding grounds after their long migration.
- Fall Bird Feeding
Some people think that bird feeding in the autumn is not a good idea.
They mistakenly believe that their feeders will keep the birds from
migrating. Find out the truth.
- Winter Bird Feeding
Bird watching in the winter months provides many rewards for us. We
can’t help ourselves from wanting to assist them by putting out a bird