All year round feeders should expect to continue providing for the same species of birds through the summer months, however they may need to supplement their diet with other foods such as insects and fruit.
Prioritizing feeding mealworms to birds in a tray or on the ground as part of your summer bird feeding strategy is a smart move. While fruits can be presented, they’ll likely be served in a dish. To keep wild birds fed until it becomes colder, keep offering a variety of seeds but less suet. Also, keep the grass mowed regularly to provide food for birds that eat on the ground.
While spring and winter are the best seasons to focus on feeding wild birds in your yard, you can still do so during the summer as many species of birds become dependent on human-provided food sources.
In the end, you will be providing the same diet for wild birds during the summer as you did during the spring, with a few adjustments.
When putting out peanuts for wild birds to eat at will, keep in mind that the chicks could choke if they eat too many whole peanuts like their moms do in the nest or bird house.
Crushing peanuts or hearts into smaller pieces can help eliminate this risk.
You can still feed suet to birds in the summer, but keep in mind that they may be less interested in it due to the warmer weather.
It’s true that when the seeds at my bird feeder inevitably run out, it’s largely House Sparrows that come to visit the suet fat balls. The birds started ignoring my suet feeders again as soon as I refilled the seed feeders.
Most wild birds will continue to use bird feeders throughout the summer, so it’s a good idea to put them out this time of year.
Some enclosed bird feeders are guaranteed to overheat, possibly guaranteeing that the bird feed will begin to decay sooner, thus it is your responsibility to change the bird feed as frequently as possible.
The open, clear plastic tubes that store seeds or nectar for Hummingbirds or Oriole nectar are indeed impossible to keep cool, unless you can find a means to keep the temperature down outside. This is true even if ordinary peanut or suet feeders can be kept cool.
When it comes to what to provide your backyard birds this summer, your options are limited to dried or live mealworms, as well as some fruits with seeds and even suet.
1. Dried or live mealworms take priority
In contrast to the majority of backyard birds, which feed mostly on seeds and nuts year-round, these wild birds specialize in eating insects and are hence more likely to appear in the summer.
This means that you should prioritize providing dried mealworms to these insectivorous birds, and doing so in a public place is what they prefer.
Wild birds that eat insects are often ground feeders, so scattering mealworms on the grass will attract them.
Though dried mealworm feeders are available, dried mealworms aren’t ideal bird food.
In light of this, dried mealworms can only be offered to birds in the summer if they are displayed on a pole-mounted tray or open platform bird feeder.
An open platform makes it simple for all kinds of wild birds, no matter their size, to get to the protein-rich mealworms.
Of course, there’s the issue of open-air mealworms deteriorating in the sun, but trust me when I tell that nothing beats making bird feed available out of feeders.
Many summer birds, including orioles, finches, bluebirds, chickadees, warblers, wrens, dark-eyed juncos, gray catbirds, and indigo buntings, prefer mealworms over other foods.
2. Fruits offered to some
Some backyard birds, though not many, may be interested in eating the fruits you put out for them as a replacement for the food they would normally get in the wild.
Despite the fact that most birds don’t eat fruit until the cooler months of the year, the vast majority of fruit-eating birds will still happily eat whatever is offered at the bird table.
Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, American Robins, Orioles, Black-throated Blue Warblers, Carolina Chickadees, and Gray Catbirds are just a few of the birds that rely extensively on small fruits during the summer.
During the summer, orioles and other nectar-eating birds switch to a diet of citrus fruits like gape jelly and oranges that can be displayed on a perch.
Fruits, from orange wedges to apples, can be preserved for longer when given to suet-eating birds in an actual suet feeder, as opposed to a wooden platform feeder, which would absorb any drippings.
You should provide a cool, shady spot for wild birds to eat and replace rotting fruit frequently while feeding them in the heat.
Place a hefty ceramic dish in a shady area on the deck railing, the wall, or even the ground to provide stability for a variety of fruits.
Over time, insects will find the exposed fruits, so you’ll need to keep a watch on them.
3. Seed mix up all year
You should keep feeding the birds the same variety of seeds throughout the summer as you have in the past because this is a staple of the wild bird feed we give.
You should, as usual, hang a clear tube seed feeder from a pole or branch and fill it with bird seed in the summer.
Bird seeds do get hot in a sun absorbing seed bird feeder, but they are also one sort of bird food that can withstand high temperatures and humidity.
However, you should still consider whether or not to use more or less bird seeds in light of how quickly the birds will devour them. Seeds in bird feeders can become bad if left out in the heat of summer, so remove them as soon as possible.
You should expect your dried mealworms to be more popular with wild birds than your seeds this summer.
Although birds can be fed seeds from enclosed feeders, they will consume them more quickly if they are placed on a platform feeder or, alternatively, if they are scattered on a well-lit lawn.
4. Cut grass to feed in lawn
If you want to attract birds that feed on the ground, I have another great summer feeding advice for you: trim your lawn regularly.
When foraging, birds like American Robins prefer short, freshly cut grass and prefer feeding on well-lit, open lawns.
Birds do forage in long grass, but it will be hard to watch them if you do. Meanwhile, cats lurking in the undergrowth pose a threat to the birds.
If the grass is kept as short as possible, you can watch birds that graze on the ground during the summer as they do so in their natural habitat.
Wild birds that visit your yard for food will actually be doing you a favor by eating the many insects and worms they find there.
Bird feeders can be a boon to ground-feeding birds, as these species will eat the food that falls to the ground from above.
5. Locate water near feeding area
Some wild birds, after a meal, will need to drink water to help them digest. It’s preferable to offer wild birds a nearby source of fresh water rather than forcing them to fly long distances in search of it, but this watering hole shouldn’t be situated too close to any bird feeders.
A bird bath is a special container designed to provide a source of water for avian species.
Backyard birders commonly use bird baths on stands, but you can also hang a bird bath on a bracket or create your own bird bath with a simple wide dish or shallow dinner tray and mount it on the wall or set it on a table outside.
You may also hang bird baths from the deck if you want to attract birds but keep them out of the sun.
Place this water source in a well-lit spot beneath the bright sky, but not in direct sunlight.
Place this bird bath as close as possible to your bird feeders, but not so close that the poop from the birds will get all over it.
When it seems like no birds are coming to your feeder, you might create a means to attract their attention.
The water in your bird bath can be constantly refreshed by turning on a flowing water device. While solar-powered fountains are available, a leaky water bottle hung over a bird bath will do the trick for much less money.
Feeders for wild birds should be strung from a pole or tree branch, while bird baths should be placed separately but nearby (on a stand, suspended from the ceiling, or on the ground).