bird feeder stand, patio bird feeder, squirrel proof

Zenith Innovations Bird Feeder Stand

Bring the Birds to You Without a Backyard

Tonight on our Facebook page were two inquiries requesting ideas.  The first one was easy, but this one made me think what it must be like when you’ve left another home and moved into the confines of an apartment with no backyard.  So for Stacy and all our other readers who might be in a similar situation, here are a couple of ways to keep the birds you love in your life.

For this quick post, Stacy has a patio, is lucky enough to be on the ground floor with a bush nearby, and has a sliding glass door through which she is able to watch the finches play in the lone bush off her patio.  These suggestions are just thoughts to give you ideas on what is out there.

This one is a little expensive, but it is guaranteed for 5 years, is on sale now, is squirrel proof, and when you move you can easily take it with you.  This is the Zenith Innovation 001 Effortless Bird Feeder with Baffle and can be found on  Just click on the picture and off to Amazon you go to take a look at it.

Stacy is lucky enough to have access to the area just beyond her patio and may be able to get the step-on type of bird feeder pole which comes with places to hang from one to four different feeders.  Some of these step-on poles come with feeders, but most do not, in which case you must supply them and possibly hanging hooks too.

window bird feeder, cardinal classic bird feeder, suction cup window feeder

Duncraft Cardinal Window Bird Feeder

One other idea I had was to place a window feeder which uses suction cups on the sliding glass doors.  The cardinals and jays in my backyard will come onto my back porch/patio and sit on my furniture and just stare at me while I sit in my kitchen.  If the your patio is otherwise quiet, its likely the birds will feed from such a feeder.  They are also quite inexpensive so little will be lost if that doesn’t work out.

Window bird feeders are really interesting, but there is one cautionary thought if you use them.  Remember, the birds can frequently not see the glass in the window or door.  The bird feeder will help, but if your windows are large or if you have sliding glasses doors, please use decals, curtains, or something on any large expanse of glass so the bird will see it before he flies into the glass and hurts or even kills himself.  See the post below on safety and window bird feeders.

Birdfeeders, Shelters and Baths (The Weekend Workshop Collection) Easy-to-build projects include tips for providing the proper food and environment for birds and discouraging pests. 129,000 copies in print.

Price: $15.95

Click here to buy from Amazon

Nestled on an Evergreen Branch the Birds Feed Safely

As we watch the winter last seemingly forever and see the birds struggling to find a bite eat, many of us will do whatever we can to make sure they find some.  In the desolation of winter, the birds remaining bring us great joy as

Nestled on an evergreen branch with snow layered everywhere, these three birds enjoy an oasis of food in the harsh surroundings.

Bird Feeders in the Winter - an Oasis

the reminder that all is well in the outdoors in spite of the weather.

My friends have commented to me how unsuccessful they have been at attracting birds to their yards during the winter months.  There can be many reasons for this ranging from the simple fact that the birds which would eat the food provided just aren’t hungry.  Maybe there is a ready source of food for them the next block over in a place they’ve been in the past.  Or maybe the birds near your house prefer something other than what you have provided.  Diets vary profoundly from species to species.  Some birds eat grains and seeds or fruit, while others eat insects and grubs.

Most likely though, it is the surroundings and atmosphere of one backyard as compared to another.  One backyard makes the bird feel safe and another does not.  If the bird feed you are using is attracting no birds to your yard, take note of where you are placing your feed.  Is it out in the wide open or right on your window sill in a place where the birds are easy for you to spot?  If so, you might be more successful changing your feeding locations.

While there is little cover in the winter as the trees are bare and the shrubs are too, realize the birds are uncomfortable out in the open eating with no cover at all.  Try placing your feeder in a tree or near shrubbery.  Regardless the level of foliage on the plants, the birds will feel safer in a location such as this.  Chances are you will soon see birds coming into your yard to feed if you make this easy change in feeding places.

After you’ve changed the atmosphere in the birds favor, then evaluate what you are feeding them.  Given the fewer birds in the colder climes during winter, in order to attract more birds, you will want to put more than one type of food out.

My recommendation is to start with some peanuts, some suet (hard uncooked beef fat), and table scraps such as bacon rinds, breads and crumbs, and some fruit pieces.  These items should cover most of the species and bring you good results for winter bird watching.