For starters, it helps to set up multiple food and water sources to accommodate a variety of animals. Some birds prefer to feed in the trees, while others are ground feeders. And although I have seen squirrels in my birdbath before, I like to provide little dishes full of food and water on my deck where my four-legged friends can easily reach them.
Sunflower seeds are the favorite of many bird enthusiasts. Almost all seed-eating birds love them, and squirrels do too. If you purchase a cheaper seed variety, such as millet, many birds will throw it aside looking for the good stuff. To avoid waste and attract a wide variety of beautiful birds (sparrows, cardinals, mourning doves, finches, chickadees, blue jays), pure sunflower seeds or a mix with a high percentage or sunflower seeds will be your best bet.
An effective yet thrifty way to feed birds is to purchase a suet feeder. The feeder itself is shaped like a small cage and is very inexpensive, and the suet cakes typically cost about a dollar apiece. These high-energy cakes are a great way to keep your birds healthy in the winter, and they also attract woodpeckers! Although ground-feeding birds will be left out, suet feeders would be a good starting point for someone wanting to try their hand at attracting birds to their home.
If you enjoy seeing birds wildly splashing around in puddles, setting up a bird bath would most likely bring a smile to your face on a daily basis. One thing to remember if you have a birdbath is that a few stones at the bottom of the birdbath will allow birds of all sizes to drink and bathe. Even the tiniest of birds will be able to find a spot that is not too deep. Place your bird bath a good distance away from any trees or hedges so that birds can drink and play freely without the fear of something hiding nearby, waiting to attack.
If you plan to attract wild animals to your home, be aware that they will come to depend on it as a food source so you should refill the feeders as soon as possible once they're empty. If it becomes a reliable feeding ground, the birds will introduce their young to your home as a safe place to get their grub on.
I can promise you one thing: If you provide food and water for local animals, they WILL hang out near your home. It doesn't matter if you live on a farm or in an apartment, if you've got even a tiny slice of outdoor space to call your own, you can enjoy the company of feathered and furry friends. You never know what kind of animals will show up. The birdseed I buy has sunflower seeds, peanuts, and berries, and I've often noticed a little bunny enjoying breakfast with the birds!
Even when I lived in a third floor apartment, I had an abundance of creatures on my balcony at any given time. If you want to know more about my adventures with these little friends of mine, click here to view past posts and you will see that it's been an enjoyable part of my life for many years now. What kind of wild animals would you most enjoy having around?
This project is linked up with other fun tutorials here!