Bird Feeding On A Budget

Photo Courtesy of Karen LockwoodBird feeding can be a budget busting hobby, but only if you let it! Read on to discover many bird seed alternatives and cheap bird feeding ideas that can keep your wallet, and yard, full!

Take care of what you already have

If you’ve already spent the money on quality feeders and bird baths, don’t let them deteriorate. Fix or sustain the materials you already have.

- Store clay bird baths inside for the winter so they don’t crack from freezing temperatures. Clay absorbs moisture. When moisture is absorbed and freezes, the clay expands and causes cracking.

Clean your bird feeder often to prevent the spread of avian disease and to promote good bird health. 

Reduce food consumption by Starlings
Starlings typically come in large groups and consume a lot of food. They crowd the feeders, cause structural and environmental damage with their droppings, and keep other birds you really want to see, away from your feeder. 

- Offer food they don’t typically prefer, like safflower seed, which attracts purple finches, cardinals, chickadees, nuthatches, tit mice, and grosbeaks. Serve unblended seed in tube feeders, hopper feeders, or open trays. Squirrels, grackles, and crows don’t care for safflower either!

- Serve food upside down because Starlings physically cannot cling to an upside-down feeder. There are speciality feeders, like this deluxe thistle feeder, that has feeding ports which allow goldfinches to feed in an upside-down position.

Other bird seed alternatives to offer to birds include fruit and vegetable seeds, dried fruits, peanut butter and/or jelly, apples, pears, nuts, and unbuttered popcorn.

DIY hacks 

Love bird feeding but don’t want to break the bank with expensive feeders, waterers, baths, and food? Try these do-it-yourself projects and bird seed alternatives that are budget friendly, fast, and simple solutions! Most materials can be found at your local hardware or grocery store.

- Check out our full list of DIY Bird Feeders on the Perky-Pet® Pinterest profile.

- You can even make your own bird bath, to give your feathered friends the opportunity to splish and splash!

- Another way to bird feed on a budget is by making your own hummingbird nectar. Simply use the 4:1, water:sugar, ratio; boil four cups of water and add sugar, stirring until dissolved, cool and store.


Budget bird feeding is a fun, and fulfilling, contribution to the environment, but don’t skimp on the health and well-being of wild birds. Protect and maintain their lifestyle just like you would your own, with care and commitment.

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Hummingbird Migration Q&A: How Do Hummingbirds Find Feeders?

Courtesy of Pat PhillipsVery soon your hummingbird pals will be packing their bags, so to speak, and heading south for some well-earned vacation time. Migration is fun and exciting (especially for the birds), but we know you may have some questions, especially in the early stages of migration. Whether you want to know more about migration in general, or you want to know how to help your feathered friends, we’re here to help you. Let’s start by answering six of the most common hummingbird migration questions that we get asked.

1. When exactly is hummingbird migration?

Most hummingbirds typically spend their winters vacationing in Central America or Mexico. In order to make it there in time, hummingbirds begin to travel during August and September. The migration is usually complete by the end of October. However, depending on the seasons and air temperatures, actual migration patterns may vary.

2. How do hummingbirds know when to migrate?

Pure instinct plays a large role, but hummers also realize when it’s time to migrate based on their surroundings. They may notice things like daylight changes, or the decrease in the amount of flowers, nectar, and insects (aka their food source). When all those things start adding up, the hummingbirds know it’s time to head south!

3. I’m used to filling my feeder every couple weeks, but now I have to do it every day. Is this because of migration?

You bet it is! In order to maintain energy during their trip, hummingbirds usually put on 25 to 40 percent more weight beforehand. This means not only will they be eating more than usual, but there will also be more hummingbirds stopping by to eat as well! To ensure that hummingbirds find feeders, keep yours well stocked to help your feathered friends put on more weight to prepare for their long journey ahead.

4. So, how do hummingbirds find my feeders?

Well, hummingbirds are creatures of habit. They typically follow the same migration pattern each year and often breed and feed in the same beautifully birdscaped yards. But there are a few things that you can do to help hummingbirds find feeders: keep feeders full and clean, place feeders in open places with cover nearby, and entice them with landscaping.

Perky-Pet® Hummingbird Feeding Tip: Keep your Perky-Pet® hummingbird feeders full and hanging in your yard until the threat of frost or below freezing temperatures.

5. I live in the south. Is there anything special I should do to help with migration?

As many more hummingbirds will be headed your way, your feeder’s nectar level will deplete faster than usual. Something those birders in the south can do to help is to put out more feeders around October. Your feeder may be the last stop for many hummingbirds before they show their passports and exit the country, so it’s helpful if you have more places for them to feed before they move on.

6. I’m really going to miss the hummingbirds while they’re gone. Is there anything I can do to prepare for their return in the spring?

We are going to miss the hummingbirds too! But of course there are things you can do to help prepare for their return. Start stocking up for next hummingbird season by flying on over and getting your hands on your favorite Perky-Pet® bird feeders. You can plant both early- and late-blooming flowers so there will be plenty of nectar for the hummingbirds when they return. In addition to this you can provide nesting materials so when the hummingbirds return, they can easily start to build their family!



What other hummingbird migration questions do you have? Ask us in the comments section below!

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How To Bird Feed With Limited Space

Categories: Birdscaping, Wild Bird

566 2 How To Bird Feed With Limited SpaceIf you’re an avid bird feeder with limited space, never fear. You can still help out your favorite feathered friends even though you don’t have a huge backyard. Whether you just moved to a new home with less yard area, or you’ve been living in an apartment and wishing you could feed the birds that you rise and shine with, we’re here to help. With these tips, you can bird feed with limited space and still become the most popular place on the block for your bird friends!

Choose the right feeder and seed

If you have a small backyard, or even a balcony, a traditional small tube feeder is a great option for you. This feeder may hold smaller quantities of seed, but will take up less space. You may hang these feeders from a tree if you have the option, or a mounting pole if you don’t.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a small backyard or balcony – your birding career is not over! An excellent option for you would be window feeders. These feeders are small and are designed to suction cup right to your windows. Window feeders are especially great if you wish to attract hummingbirds. You can easily see your feathered friends up close this way too!

When it comes to seed, it would be best for to choose a seed that the majority of birds will like. This will allow you to attract a variety of birds and minimize the amount of space that multiple feeders would take up. Black-oil sunflower seed is very popular. We suggest filling your feeder with this so you are more likely to see a variety of birds (such as cardinals, nuthatches, and chickadees) at your feeder.

Offer your feathered friends a drink and a bath

Having a water supply may draw in different types of birds that may not come for a feeder. Including a birdbath in your collection will make you a popular spot for birds because they can get everything they need in one stop: shelter, food, water, and a bath. Since you are already trying to bird feed in a limited space, choosing a smaller birdbath is the best option. If a birdbath is not an option, incorporating a bowl filled with water is another alternative. Just wait for them to pass along the message to their friends and you’ll have many birds stopping by to enjoy! 

Be careful with your placement

If you have a small yard and you’re trying to attract wild birds, refrain from putting the feeder in an open area. The birds that wish to utilize your feeder want to have shelter, so try to hang the feeder from a tree so they feel secure while they feed. However keep in mind that hummingbirds actually prefer feeding in open spaces near shelter, so if you’re trying to attract hummingbirds you may want to put the feeder an in open area in your yard. 

Trying to bird feed in a limited space is especially tough when it comes to balconies, as placement options are very limited. However, it’s not impossible! Always consider the safety of the birds when choosing where to place your feeder on your balcony. Many balconies in apartment complexes keep their electrical wiring or air conditioning hidden behind a door on your balcony, so be careful to not place the feeder here, as they can be hazardous. It is best to not place the feeders in a high-traffic area as well. Never forget that your little friends are the priority and you want to help them feel safe!=

Don’t Lose Hope


Even if you have a small backyard, or if you only have a balcony, taking care of your bird friends is not impossible. With these tips you can continue to bird feed, or start bird feeding, with ease. Just keep in mind that your little friends are looking for three things: food, water, and shelter. If you can provide them that, you’re golden!

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