How to Make Your Backyard a Bird Magnet

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By Ellie Whitcomb Payne

The Charleston Audubon Society held its annual Spring Bird Count on May 6 to collect data on wild birds that can be seen all around us. Within a 15-mile radius of Charleston, novice and experienced birders reported sightings of the tufted titmouse, pine warblers, plovers, woodpeckers and more. The Audubon Society estimates the tally to be around 130 species.

If you want to get in on the action, Danielle Motley of Mount Pleasant’s Wild Birds Unlimited says you can set yourself up for success with the right kind of bird food and feeders.

 

TOP PICKS FOR BIRD FEEDERS:

FOR HUMMINGBIRDS

The Pagoda High Perch Hummingbird Feeder has a raised perch suited for tiny birds. The built-in ant moat and nectar guard tips make it ant- and bee-proof, and the red color means no need for food coloring.

MOST VARIETY

Caption: The Wild Bird Unlimited Open Tray Feeder is built to hold most food types, making it easy to change what you’re feeding to attract varieties.

BEST UP-CLOSE VIEWING

The Wild Birds Unlimited Window Bird Feeder is a great gift for children’s birthdays, says Motley.  It comes with a lifetime warranty and the suction cups are small and don’t hinder the view of birds.

 

TOP PICKS FOR BIRD FOOD:

FOR PAINTED BUNTING

The blue, red, and green plumage make this species a favorite with enthusiasts. The Caged Tube Feeder with Millet will do the trick for the shy bird, which is seen locally in spring and summer.

MOST VARIETY

To attract the largest diversity of birds, pick a blend that includes shelled sunflower seeds, nuts, millet, and safflower seed.

Build a Bird-Friendly Garden

Don’t just limit yourself to a feeder—your garden could be a sanctuary for local birds. Nolan Schillerstrom with Charleston Audubon Society says Audubon.org/native-plants has an extensive Native Plant Database to help create your bird-friendly habitat. You can even be part of the national movement to get “one million native plants for birds in the ground” by tracking your efforts with the Audubon Society. Happy birding!

 

 

 

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