Summer Bird Feeding: Everything You Need to Know

Summer Bird Feeding: Everything You Need to Know

Summer Bird Feeding: Everything You Need to Know.

These summer bird feeding techniques can assist you in attracting a diverse group of feathered friends to your backyard, which can be an enjoyable and rewarding activity throughout the season of summer.

Backyard birders may ensure that all of their summer visitors have a healthy diet by first gaining an awareness of the requirements birds have throughout the summer and then learning how to fulfill those requirements with the most nutrient-dense foods possible.

Should You Continue to Feed Birds throughout the Summer?

Myth: If you give birds food during the summer, they will become reliant on handouts and become less active in their search for natural food sources. This is a pervasive but untrue belief. This is not even close to being accurate; research has shown that wild birds normally get little more than 25 percent of their daily food from feeders, and for many species that live in backyards, the amount is significantly lower. The following are some of the reasons why you might consider feeding birds throughout the summer:

Longer days provide backyard birdwatchers more opportunities to monitor their feeders and witness a variety of hungry visitors.
During the summer months, birds have changed into their breeding plumage, which makes identification simpler and more pleasurable due to the birds’ vivid colors and distinct patterns.
Nesting season is upon us, which means backyard bird watchers will soon be able to see the development of fledgling birds as they get used to feeding at bird feeders.

During the summer months, northern regions are home to a bigger diversity of bird species; thus, bird watchers who only put out food during the winter months will be missing out on some very spectacular species.
At first glance, it may seem as if fewer birds use feeders in the early to middle stages of summer, which would make this time of year a less favorable time for backyard birding.

However, towards the beginning of summer, many species of birds are nesting, which causes them to be naturally more covert. Furthermore, since their young are still very tiny, these birds only spend a short amount of time at feeders.

In addition, this time of year is when a wide variety of natural food sources, such as fruits, insects, seeds, and so on, are more easily accessible, which leads to a reduction in the number of birds who consume food from feeders. Those who are dedicated to watching birds, on the other hand, will be rewarded with a plethora of feathered friends over the summer months if they keep their feeders stocked with tasty morsels.

Best Summer Bird Foods

In any season, the most effective approach to attract feeding birds is to provide a selection of healthy items in a variety of forms. In addition to the common seeds, many birds like eating fruits and insects throughout the warmer months of the year; thus, it is important to provide a diverse selection of foods at the feeder in order to entice as many different species as possible.

The following items are some of the most delicious options for summertime fare:

Seed While all varieties of birdseed may be used as a summertime food source, black oil sunflower seeds, hearts, and chips are by far the most well-liked choice across a diverse variety of bird species. While finches are one of the species that are drawn to nyjer, mixed seed attracts a variety of songbirds.


Fruit is a common food source for songbirds. A variety of colorful birds, such as orioles, northern cardinals, gray catbirds, and summer tanagers, will be attracted to apple pieces, banana slices, and orange halves. These meals may be presented in a platform feeder or used to fill a suet cage so that it may be hung with relative ease.


Jelly, like fruit, is a delicious delicacy that many different kinds of birds like. Apple jelly and grape jelly are both effective in luring woodpeckers, American robins, gray catbirds, and orioles, respectively. The ideal way to feed jelly to birds is on little plates; however, you must take precautions to ensure that the jelly does not get rotten or moldy before all of the birds eat it.

Other birds, such as orioles, woodpeckers, and nuthatches have been observed to drink from sugar-water feeders in the summertime in addition to hummingbirds, who are the most common kind of birds that love nectar. Hummingbirds, however, are the most common species of bird that enjoys nectar. In addition to nectar sources, planting a variety of flowers with high nectar content will provide an ample natural food supply.

Mealworms Birds that consume insects will be grateful to find mealworms at backyard feeders, especially when parents need to provide ravenous nestlings with hundreds of insects each day. Mealworms come in a variety of colors and sizes.

Bluebirds, wrens, grosbeaks, and warblers are some of the birds that are particularly drawn to mealworms. Mealworms, whether fresh or dried, are a tasty treat for birds and may be used in a variety of seed blends. Fresh mealworms are preferable.


To attract jays, chickadees, titmice, and nuthatches, place peanuts, either shelled or whole, in platform feeders, tiny dishes, or feeders designed specifically for peanuts. It’s also possible to include peanuts in seed mixtures in the form of chopped-up pieces.

However, you should steer clear of nuts that have been seasoned, flavored, or coated since all of these additions pose a threat to wild birds.

Suet It may seem counterintuitive to provide woodpeckers, chickadees, and jays with suet during the summer, but no-melt suet mixtures, which are created with less fat, will attract these birds.

They are an excellent source of energy for the hectic summer days that are spent tending to hungry nestlings. Suet may also be broken up, cut, or shredded before being served in individual portions.

Avoid Offering These Foods to Summertime Birds

In spite of the fact that offering a wider choice of meals would entice a higher number of birds, backyard birders should be careful not to provide alternatives that are low in nutrition during the summer, when young birds need the most nutrient-dense fare for their proper development. For instance, feeding birds in the summertime with leftovers from the kitchen is not a good idea.

Adult birds won’t be harmed by nibbles of bread, boiled rice, or other leftovers if they are fed very seldom as treats; but, nestlings and other young birds won’t benefit nutritionally from these items in any amount. During the months when young birds need a nutritious diet in order to develop into healthy, mature adults, you should avoid providing this “bird junk food.”

During the warmest months of summer, you should also refrain from offering the following meals to the birds you feed:

Peanut butter: Due to the speed with which it melts, peanut butter may cause harm to the feathers of birds if it gets stuck to their plumage and then drips off. When temperatures are high, peanut butter also has a high risk of fast becoming rancid.
Blends of soft suet: This kind of food is not going to be able to resist the heat of the summer and will instead rapidly deteriorate or melt, develop mold, or nurture germs that may be harmful to birds.

Nectar You should try to avoid putting out huge amounts of nectar for hummingbirds or orioles since the nectar may go bad and ferment before the birds are able to swallow all of it.

Feeding Wild Birds in the Summer: Some Challenges

The summertime is often an excellent time to feed the birds, but it also presents some challenges. Other creatures, such as rats, mice, raccoons, deer, and bears, may visit backyard feeders in the hopes of finding an easy meal. Additionally, the high heat and humidity of summer may hasten the spoilage of a variety of items.

In order to avoid these issues, you should make sure that each bird feeder is in good working order and does not have any damaged hinges or loose ports that can entice pests to eat there.

Put out just the amount of food that can be consumed in one to two days, and if required, consider keeping the feeders in a safe shed or garage at night to prevent other animals from accessing the food. It is important to check seeds on a frequent basis for signs of mildew, clumping, or spoiling, and to maintain feeders clean in order to avoid the transmission of illnesses or parasites to other birds or to people.

If unwanted visitors do become a problem, it may be preferable to take down all of the bird feeders for a few days at a time. The birds will discover other food sources, while the other pests will move on to alternate feeding regions. After a week or two, you may put the bird feeders back out, and the birds will be there very immediately.

Some Suggestions for Feeding the Birds This Summer

Utilize these pointers to turn your summertime bird feeding into an activity that is more pleasurable for both you and the birds:

Place bird feeders in shady places to cut down on the amount of seed that goes bad and to assist the birds in maintaining a comfortable body temperature. This will encourage the birds to stay and eat for longer periods of time and to come back more regularly.
Choose mesh or open feeder models that will allow the seed to dry out quickly in the event that it becomes wet. Additionally, use baffles or covers to prevent the seed from being saturated during the summer rainstorms.

Reduce the amount of millet or cracked corn that you provide if you want to attract a wider range of bird species as opposed to only house sparrows, European starlings, and brown-headed cowbirds.

To prevent them from preying on ground-feeding birds and young birds that have just emerged from their nests, you should confine your cats inside and take active actions to prevent feral cats from entering your yard.

Feeders should be placed in a way that prevents birds from colliding with windows, and anti-reflective coatings should be applied to glass so that it can be seen more easily.
Include a birdbath in your garden to provide a supply of fresh water that will attract not just birds that eat at feeders but also species that need water but do not often visit feeders.

Feeding the birds in the summer is a fun activity to perform, and if you do it correctly, you may attract hundreds of different types of gorgeous birds to your backyard where you can see them up close.

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