Audubon Guide to Winter Bird-Feeding

Audubon Guide to Winter Bird-Feeding

A world-renowned ornithologist shows how, with the right combination of feeder and food, your backyard can be a refuge for birds and a stage for watching their colorful antics.

By Steve Kress
Published: November-December 2010
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Steve Kress

Type: Author | From: Audubon Magazine


That is a very gracious

That is a very gracious reply. Kudos to you.

Kelly,, I thank-you for your

Kelly,, I thank-you for your mini-tutorial as well!! I would not have known what the ground feeder looked like beyond what my imagination could conjure- phew! Much appreciated!

reply to JLS

Hello, JLS,
I reached out to the author of this article, Steve Kress, for his take. He says: "There are special feeders called ‘satellite feeders’--hanging feeders, shaped like balls with holes 1.25 inches (without perches) that permit chickadees to enter, but not sparrows. Likewise feeders inside of cages can keep squirrels, large birds away. Avoid cracked corn, millet, milo." Hope that helps!
Julie Leibach
Senior Editor
Audubon Magazine

House sparrows

Are there any ways to feed wild birds without giving seed to these invasive and pushy European house sparrows? I have stopped filling my feeder because they are the only birds that seem to show up any more. Thanks.

I have heard the house

I have heard the house sparrows are in serious decline in England. If this is so perhaps it would be helpful if JLS continued feeding them in North America. After all they did come from Europe so maybe they go back the other way too

I heard that dangling

I heard that dangling monofilament fishing line around feeders warded off sparrows. I tried it and it's working for me. The other native species that come to my feeder are not deterred, but the house sparrows are completely baffled. There are one or two that dare to alight on the tube feeders I have out, but they only stay for one or two seeds rather than gorging all the seed and keeping the others away. Now, I get hairy woodpeckers, black-capped chickadees, many cardinals, house finches, goldfinches, and dark-eyed juncos. Also, because the seed doesn't spill out over the ground, the pigeons are not swarming my yard except when I fill the feeders. It's much more enjoyable. (The neighbors still feed the house sparrows.)

What feeder do you have? I

What feeder do you have? I have a problem of rats eating whatever spills on the ground and would absolutely LOVE to take care of this problem.

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