Landscaping with native plants that furnish cover, seeds, and insects for birds allows you to enjoy watching birds year-round. But maybe you don’t have a yard or don’t have the time or physical ability to maintain a garden. You can still draw birds to your home all year by using bird-feeding stations. The key is choosing the right seed for feeder.

Increase your bird-ID skills by watching their different feeding habits. Some songbirds, like the junco, prefer to feed directly on the ground. Cardinals and blue jays will feed on the ground or a platform feeder while suet feeders or mealworms on a platform feeder will attract eastern bluebirds.

There is a variety of bird-feeding stations to choose from. Simple stations include placing seeds directly on the ground or by erecting a plain wooden platform. More complicated stations may include hooks, poles, cages, cylinder or silo-type feeders. The addition of baffles may help keep squirrels away. Learn more about attracting birds so you attract a variety of birds to your backyard.

A few tips to remember:

Birds often visit many feeding stations in a neighborhood. Wash your feeders regularly to prevent the spread of diseases between birds.

Adding a feeding station to your yard can bring you year-round bird watching opportunities.

Mount your feeders in places where birds can see approaching predators and fly to safety.

Don’t place feeders near windows where reflections which can lead to deadly window strikes. Learn to prevent window strikes from the American Bird Conservancy.

Drop by the Discovery Center on Saturday between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to see our bird-feeding stations, learn about songbird feeding habits and plan your bird feeding station. Families participating in the Bird-Feeding Stations Under Construction program will make a platform feeder to take home.