How do I keep squirrels off my feeders?

There are many products available that say “squirrel-proof”, but the reality is that most of them are not!  The best way to keep squirrels off your feeders is a free-standing pole with a pole-mounted baffle.  The baffles we sell are larger than a Gray Squirrels reach and constructed of steel. For the system to work, the baffle must be at least 4 feet above the ground with all feeders completely above it. Additionally, the pole should be at least 10 feet from anything squirrels can jump across from.

The only squirrel-proof feeder we recommend is the Squirrel Buster Plus from Brome Bird Care. With a weight-sensitive mechanism that is adjustable, this feeder prevents gray and red squirrels and chipmunks from accessing the feeding ports.  

How do I attract cardinals?

Cardinals are ground feeders. Therefore, they most prefer a platform or hopper style feeder (as opposed to feeders with small perches). Another option is to add a tray or Droll Yankees Cardinal Perches to a tube feeder. Cardinals will readily eat Safflower, Black Oil Sunflower, and Striped Sunflower. Habitat is also important. Cardinals are generally not found in yards surrounded by mature woods, but rather prefer edge or second-growth vegetation.

How do I get started in bird feeding?

For people just starting out with one feeder, we recommend a hopper feeder filled with a good quality seed blend, such as our D&J’s Maine Mix. This is the easiest way to maximize bird diversity and abundance. Of course, the greater the variety of feeders and seed you have, the more active your feeding station will be. Popular feeders to add after the initial hopper include a Nyjer feeder for finches and suet feeder for woodpeckers. The options are endless!

Why does it matter what birdseed I buy?

Seed freshness is extremely important in maximizing your success of attracting birds. As seed sits around (even in a sealed bag), it gets stale and loses nutritional value. Birds will not waste their time on food that is not going to meet their energy requirements. We get you started on the right foot by only selling seed that is packaged and delivered to us weekly. Only purchase the amount of seed you think you will go through in one to two months. This is especially important for shell-free seeds and Nyjer.

Seed mixes are great to feed your birds, but there are a lot of mixes that contain junk. Some supermarket blends, for instance, are 50% milo, which our birds do not eat! It gets kicked out and rots or grows under your feeders instead.  Also, watch out for bags of seed that are “dirty”. When you purchase a bag of seed, it should not be full of broken shells, sticks and filth. Seed with a dull appearance is dried out and old.

What do I feed hummingbirds?

Hummingbird feeders should only be filled with a solution of white granulated sugar and water. Nothing more, nothing less! You can make up the solution at home by mixing one part sugar with four parts water and bringing to a boil (to dissolve). After cooling, fill your feeders. Any extra liquid will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. The solution must be changed in the feeders every 3 – 5 days in summer, 5 – 7 days in cooler months to keep from spoiling.

For convenience, we sell instant nectar, which is just finely ground white sugar that does not require boiling. Avoid any commercial mixtures that contain red dye, or sweeteners other than sucrose. Red 40 may very well cause kidney failure, the formation of cancerous lesions, and other maladies in hummingbirds. It causes the solution to spoil more quickly, and is not necessary for attracting hummingbirds (a little bit of red on the feeder is more than sufficient).