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Help me attract birds


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I bought a house a few years ago in Orrock township just south of the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge in the Sand Dune State Forest. I have about 3 acres of land with nothing but the 70 small trees I planted when we moved in. I built a large cedar bird feeder so I could enjoy seeing birds every day but so far I haven't attracted any. I look out my window several times a day, excited to see birds at the feeder but I'm dissappointed every time.

What more can I do to attract birds?

Please help confused.gif

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Sorry to hear about that. I know it can be frustrating. On the other hand, congrats on the place! grin.gif

I'd make sure you offer a variety. Black oil sunflower as a staple, with cracked corn on the ground for the sparrow types, and suet in a couple suet holders for the suet lovers.

Once you've got a varied setup, you can work at attracting birds. Many birds prefer more cover nearby than it sounds like you have, so unless they're flying over and see activity of other birds at your feeding station, it's unlikely they'll stop. I have to say I'm surprised you haven't gotten at least several species of migrating spring/fall sparrow, as they tend to be fine in more open, grassy areas.

At any rate, I'd get a CD of bird song. I know the Peterson Field Guide Series puts one out, and there are others. Plop it into a portable CD player, and start playing birdsong loudly out your door. Pick birds common there in winter, like chickadees and nuthatches. Once they start showing up, other birds will begin seeing that feeding activity and be drawn to it.

A note: On very cold days with wind, chickadees may not venture into your open setting, because their small bodies don't retain heat well enough to withstand that. Chickadees and nuthatches prefer mature woodlands, because they are tree cavity nesters and forage in those trees, but will come out where you are if they want to.

How close is the closest stand of mature trees to your feeding station? And how long have you had your feeding station up?

You might also consider shelling out a bit of dough for half a dozen spruce that are already eight feet tall or so, planting them near your feeding station to offer shelter. If you add a couple crabapples to the mix, over time you'll pull in wandering berry/fruit eaters like robins and waxwings. What kind of trees have you already planted, and how tall are they?

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I agree with stcat - the small trees will be good in 10 years but the birds don't feel secure now.

I got a book a while back from the DNR (?) called Landscaping for Wildlife that describes a lot of the berry plants that you would need to bring a variety in. You are limited because that entire area is pure sand. It also seems to be full of poison ivy. I have hunted that area quite a bit but now wait till after gun season because it gets really crowded.

There is a local group that does a Christmas bird count. You might look them up if you are interested in that type of thing. I can dig up a name if you want to pursue that route.

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