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.

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