Home Bird Data Entry Contest: What’s Your Feeder Setup like?

Data Entry Contest: What’s Your Feeder Setup like?

Data Entry Contest: What’s Your Feeder Setup like?


March 15, 2023

A medium-sized woodpecker with a bright red nape and black and white back perches on a green platform feeder while stretching to grab a peanut with its bill.

|Red-bellied Woodpecker by Bob Vuxinic |

For the seventh season in a row, Project FeederWatch and our sponsor Wild Birds Unlimited are rewarding registered FeederWatchers with the chance to win prizes. This year, Celestron is joining the fun and offering one pair of binoculars to each data entry contest winner as well. After entering bird counts (data) into the FeederWatch website, participants have the opportunity to share a story, memory, or tip by clicking the “Enter to Win” button on the Count Summary page. We randomly select two winners per prompt. Our fourth Data Entry contest prompt this season was:

What’s your feeder setup like? What types of foods or feeders work best to draw a crowd at your bird feeding station? If you don’t use a feeder, are birds attracted by any other features in your yard?

Congratulations to our winners, Ann-Marie Kocher and Marianne Farallo!

Ann-Marie shared:

I use a large tree stump as the base of my feeder setup. I have one [Wild Birds Unlimited] EcoClean Seed Tube Feeder filled with a seed variety, one EcoClean Finch Feeder filled with Nyjer seed, and one suet cage. I also spread sunflower and safflower seeds on the stump every morning. This set up draws a wide variety of birds to my feeding station. Large elderberry shrubs provide cover, and the creek behind the stump is a well-visited source of fresh water.

Installing water features can provide birds a place to bathe or drink. In most cases, a birdbath or water sprayer can provide an adequate water source. However, the more natural the water feature, the more quickly birds will discover it. Consider adding a pump to create movement in your water feature. You could even create a bubbling rock water feature or small waterfall, if your yard allows. Birds prefer shallow, ground-level water features, especially with places to perch, such as stones or branches arranged in the water to stand on. Place a birdbath or water feature near shrubs, trees, or a brush pile to provide birds with added protection from predators. Read more about how you can improve your backyard habitat for birds in the Landscaping Tips section of our new Gardening for Birds page.

Marianne shared:

I currently have four tube feeders and two suet feeders in my yard. There are bushes and trees where birds can wait their turn for the feeders. I usually offer a finch mix, which includes Niger seed, and a wild bird mix that includes black oil sunflower seeds and fruit. The suet attracts a variety of woodpeckers throughout the year. I recently tried using a peanut feeder, but it did not take long for the squirrels to find them. I am enjoying participating in Project FeederWatch. It has helped me realize how many species of birds have been enjoying my yard, too.

Wondering what kind of food or feeder types the birds in your neighborhood will like best? Check out our Common Feeder Birds Interactive Tool. This tool features our list of almost 100 common feeder birds across the U.S. and Canada, but you can sort by region. Explore your region to see what you might be able to attract to your feeders this winter!

Thanks to everyone who participated and shared their stories – we wish we could share all of your submissions! Look for the prompts after you submit your next count and stay tuned for when we announce the next data entry contest winners on April 11th, 2023. Email feederwatch@cornell.edu with questions, and read the stories from past winners on our blog.

Interested in becoming a FeederWatcher? Join the fun now!

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