1 In winter, my bird feeders are refilled every morning. It is helpful to keep feeders full as birds often seek out reliable food sources to help them survive the cold season. This bird seed comes from Agway. Agway sells both wild and caged bird seeds, feeders and supplies. http://www.agway.com
2 The bird seed is stored in heavy duty galvanized cans and then kept in my carport. These sturdy containers won't rust, and are resistant to pest damage.
3 The cans are tightly chained to deter small animals. Properly storing bird seed will prevent mold and mildew from forming, which could be dangerous if fed to the birds.
4 Chhewang fills smaller, more portable cans with seed, before going out to the feeders. He's already filled one can with black oil sunflower seeds. Three other cans will be filled with Nyjer seeds, white millet and a wild bird seed mix.
5 The mixed seed attracts a diverse group of wild birds including woodpeckers, finches, chickadees and towhees. Seed mixes are easy to use in tube, window or hopper feeders.
6 Chhewang heads to the back of the carport where several of the feeders are located.
7 Feeders should be set up where they are easy to see and convenient to fill. They should be placed where seed-hungry squirrels and bird-hungry cats cannot reach them, and if near a window, no more than three feet from the glass to prevent possible collisions.
8 Using a pole with a hook on the end, Chhewang carefully removes each tube feeder. Tube feeders attract small perching birds such as finches, goldfinches, titmice, and chickadees.
9 These tube feeders allow the seed to flow only when birds peck at it, which helps keep any spillage to a minimum.
10 Each feeder behind the carport holds about two quart-sized containers full of seed. Before refilling the feeder with new seed, always empty the old seed out first and give the feeder a shake to dislodge any that were compacted.
11 Chhewang fills this feeder with mixed seed. Even if your bird visitors are not entirely dependent on your food supply, try not to leave them without food. If you plan to be away, fill extra feeders, or ask a willing neighbor to continue feeding your birds until you return.
12 Each feeder is filled to the top and carefully returned to its spot - all ready for hungry birds to feast. It won't be long before they start arriving.
13 Here are several more feeders that need refilling. If you look very closely, you can see a blue jay sitting on the pergola patiently waiting for the seed to be replenished.
14 These feeders are larger and hold about four quart-sized containers of seed each.
15 The mixed seed includes white millet, black oil sunflower seeds, striped sunflower seeds and cracked corn.
16 Black oil sunflower seeds are popular among birds that favor tube and house type feeders.
17 Black oil sunflower seeds are meatier than the striped sunflower seeds and have a higher oil content. The shells are also thinner than the striped variety, making them easier for birds to crack open.
18 When starting to feed birds, it may take time for new feeders to be discovered. Don't be surprised if the feeding station doesn't get visitors right away. As long as feeders are clean and filled with fresh seed, the birds will find them.
19 Sparrows are primarily seed eaters, but also enjoy eating small insects. Though they are not flashy in color, and may often be overlooked or considered common, the sparrow is a very melodious bird.
20 This is a black-capped chickadee. These birds are highly curious about everything, including humans. Its black cap and bib, white cheeks and gray back, wings and tail make it an easy bird to distinguish and identify.
21 The blue jay is familiar to many people with its vibrant blue plumage and black and white markings.
22 The blue jay mainly feeds on seeds, but also eats acorns, soft fruits and occasionally small vertebrates. Blue jays are known for their intelligence, adaptability, and their willingness to visit bird feeders.
23 Downy woodpeckers are some of the most common woodpeckers in the area. This woodpecker is a male, identified by the red patch on the back of his head; females are recognized by a black patch.
24 Downy woodpeckers are active and acrobatic foragers. They are often found balancing on slender branches or perches such as this copper wire.
25 The birds start arriving soon after all the feeders are filled. Here is the ever-popular cardinal - look at this male's brilliant red color.
26 Cardinals are robust, seed eating birds with strong bills. It is one of the country's most popular birds and can often brighten even the grayest of winter days with its bright, striking plumage.
27 Look closely and you can see this cardinal holding a seed - there is always something amazing to see when watching and feeding wild birds.