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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  • Love listeningto both songs and calls from birds in our woody neighborhood. The two types of birds I immediately recognize are the cardinals and the chickadees. Yesterday afternoon too, I heard a woodpecker. Then it’s time to check the birdfeeders and the birdbath. Then In no time at all the cardinals and chickadees arrive, as if they had been watching me. As it gets busier around the feeders, I also hear thé screeching of the blue jays. I even saw a couple of robins checking out our lawn....spring has arrived as the last pat gesofisticeerde snow and ice melt away.
    by louisabt, Sun, 08 Mar 2020
  • I am wondering about existing nests for Phoebes. I have two outdoor aisle entries to my barn and there are old Phoebe nests up. They ignore them each year and build new nests adjacent to the old, but space is running out. Should I knock down the old nests so they can rebuild?
    by [email protected], Sun, 02 Feb 2020
  • Just wondering, should we put anything in the bottom of the box...twigs, clippings, leaves....anything at all?
    by Hebb, Tue, 28 Jan 2020
  • 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