Jun 5, 2019 | Featured in: Watching Backyard Birds, June 2019

Plant a Bird Feeder

From mid-May to early June is a great time to plant these fast-growing beauties that will mature into nature’s own bird feeder. Photo by Shutterstock.
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The word "sunflower" applies to about 70 species of Helianthus, and nearly all of them are native to various locations in North America. All varieties produce a central cluster of seeds. Sunflowers require a lot of space to grow, and some varieties can exceed 10 feet in height. You can even plant the black-oil sunflower seed you purchased to feed the birds. Plant the seeds a few inches apart, but expect to thin them to about a foot apart as the plants grow. They'll need lots of water and sunshine, and perhaps the support of a stake and tie-back as they mature. Read the description of the plant and flower head size on seed packets before you buy. From mid-May to early June is a great time to plant these fast-growing beauties that will mature into nature's own bird feeder.



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  • New to birding...newbie question. We spotted what we thought was a Sapsucker at our patio feeders in December. The folks at our birding supply store told us that Sapsuckers are only here in Summer months and what we saw was a Flicker. I thought I new what a Flicker was and this did not look like a Flicker. It was thinner and more smooth looking but did have the Woodpecker Bill.
    by Edmund Steinman, Wed, 08 Jan 2020
  • We just signed up and get your magazine via email. Will we be receiving a printed copy?Ed [email protected]
    by Edmund Steinman, Wed, 08 Jan 2020
  • Chickadees are adorable and intelligent. Chickadees have brains that are the most like human brains. Chickadees are personable, lively, and have their own language. Chickadees form lasting pair bonds; and are very good parents. Love.
    by Merl Elton, Tue, 24 Dec 2019
  • I'm still worried about my backyard birds even though myth #3 says they won't starve if I stop feeding in the middle of winter. I'm concerned because I'm moving in a couple of weeks to a new house and the winter's in northern Ohio get pretty challenging. Should I start backing off slowly on there food or just stop when we move?
    by Vince Bove, Sat, 14 Dec 2019
  • Birds make our world a wonderful and beautiful place to live.
    by Mac Eco, Mon, 09 Dec 2019