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Yard & Garden Blog

How to Attract Birds: Winter Bird Watching 101

If you want to have a yard full of beautiful birds, then you need to feed them what they like to eat and serve it how they like to eat it. Different species of birds come out at different times of the year, and Callaway’s can help you attract the right species at the right time!

You might be asking, “why can’t I just put some bird seed in a bird feeder??” There are many different types of bird feeders, and there are also many different types of bird feed.


A tube feeder with large holes is great for larger seeds. A tube feeder with small holes is great for thistle seeds (Finches). Some tube feeders can be adapted for small or large seed. It is important to look at the distance between the bird perches. If you are trying to attract bigger birds, make sure there is enough room for them on your tube feeder.

Sock feeders for thistle are great for Finches! Finches are abundant this time of year. A sock feeder might not be as pretty as a tube feeder, but it is a cheaper alternative that will attract lots of beautiful Finches!

A wire mesh feeder is great for Woodpeckers.


Suet baskets can be hung from trees or porches, and are filled with suet cakes. They commonly attrack Woodpeckers, Jays, Cardinals, and Chickadees.


Hopper Feeders are great for large seed. They are good for Juncos, Cardinals, Woodpeckers, Chickadees

Some birds prefer to eat their bird feed from the ground or a platform feeder. If you want to avoid nuisance birds, avoid feeding on the ground. This could discourage some of the bigger desirable bird species that like to eat of the ground, but you can offer them a platform feeder instead. Dark-eyed Juncos, Cardinals, Bluebirds like platform feeders. 


During the winter months of January, February, and the beginning of March you will most likely see House Finches, Purple Finches, Golden Finches, Red Finches, Dark-eyed Juncos, and Chickadees. Cardinals, Bluebirds, and Woodpeckers can be seen all year long. You will most likely see hummingbirds during the spring; but if you keep a hummingbird feeder out with fresh nectar, you will see a few come throughout the year. All the pictures below where taken in Madison County.  



Thistle, sock feeders, or tube feeders that have small holes for thistle seeds.

House Finch – sunflower Thistle

Purple Finch – sunflower, Thistle, Millet



Seed on the ground or an open feeder. Millet and corn



Suet Feeders

Sunflower Seeds




Open feeders or platform feeder. Mealworms, Suet



Sunflower seeds. Ground or platform feeder.

When the weather starts to turn to spring in Mid March, you will start to see Buntings and Hummingbirds. But continue feeding your winter birds as long as they are coming to eat.


- Accommodate for what the birds in your area want to eat and how they like to eat it. Refill your feeders regularly.

- Keep your feeders and birdbaths clean. To clean your feeders, wash with soap and warm water. You can also sterilize them if needed with a solution of one part bleach to four parts water. Make sure to rinse thoroughly!

- Avoid using pesticides, herbicides, and other dangerous chemicals around your feeders.

- Keep your feeder at least three feet away from windows.

Come by Callaway’s Yard and Garden on Pear Orchard for everything you need to get started! When you start seeing birds, please share your pictures with us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter by using the hashtag #callawaysIS


Anna Callaway & Deborah Warden 25-Feb-2016 0 Comments
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