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Wild Women: Backyard Bird Feeding

Kirsten Bartlow, the Watchable Wildlife Coordinator at the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission shares tips on how to attract feathered friends to your backyard.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - There's always someone on your holiday gift list who has everything you can think of to give them.

If that person happens to like watching wildlife, there's a wide range of items they might love to have.

Kirsten Bartlow, the Watchable Wildlife Coordinator with the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission joined us for Arkansas Today to talk about bird feeders and other things that will attract feathered friends to within watching distance from your window.

Why feed the birds?
Many bird species will visit the state in the winter months, while there's also a wide variety of birds that live here all year round. All of these birds will visit bird feeders, especially when insects and other food sources are scarce. Backyard bird feeding provides a great opportunity to add some color to your backyard and learn about our native species. 

How can I keep the birds safe that I'm feeding? 
To reduce collisions with windows, either place the feeders within three feet or farther from your house. Clean the feeders once a month with a 9-to-1 water-beach solution to reduce chance of spreading diseases. Clean up seed husks under the feeder as well. Keep your cat indoors! 

What type of feed and feeders should I use?
Black oil sunflower seed attracts a wide variety of backyard birds and can be placed in a tube feeder or a hopper style feeder. Suet in a wire cage is a great winter option. It can turn rancid in temperatures above 70 degrees. Suet feeders attract woodpeckers, nuthatches and even warblers. Thistle or nyjer feeders attract small beaked birds such as American goldfinches and will often be ignored by squirrels. 

How do I learn more about Arkansas backyard birds?
Get involved in our Wings Over Arkansas program, which is a birding rewards program where you earn certificates and lapel pins for logging the birds you see in Arkansas. 

Click here to download a copy of the Arkansas Backyard Birds Guide.

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