Fall Bird Feeding Tips for Wild Backyard Birds Year Round

Last Updated on July 2, 2022 by Ellen Christian

My husband loves feeding the birds and identifying which ones visit us throughout the year. These fall bird feeding tips will get you started on a fun lifelong hobby. In Vermont, we have different birds for different seasons. Some of them visit us only in the spring or summer. Some of them stay with us year-round. 

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Fall Bird Feeding Tips for Wild Backyard Birds Year Round

Fall Bird Feeding Tips

Ever since the kids were little, we have made sure to teach them about the different birds so they can enjoy feeding and watching birds themselves. We have several bird identification books to help identify each species.

homemade suet cake


In the fall, the birds that are with us only during the summer fly south. They need extra energy to stay warm and to make that long journey. We help them by putting out suet in the bird feeders. Offering suet mixed with seeds, dried fruits and nuts helps give them that extra energy. You can buy premade suet cakes at the store or you can make your own suet. You can also learn how to render suet. If you’re crafty, why not learn to make your own bird feeders.

When feeding birds in the fall, it’s important to keep the feeders full to be certain that birds come back to your feeder regularly. Different birds like different types of birdseed. We find that by offering black oil sunflower seeds we get the smaller songbirds more frequently. My husband’s favorite birds are the goldfinches and purple finches, and they love sunflower seeds.

birds on a suet feeder

Should you stop feeding birds in the fall?

By offering birds a consistent source of food, you will encourage them to return daily. When they lay their eggs in the spring and teach the babies where local food sources are, they’ll encourage them to return to your yard as well. It’s a cycle.

Fall Bird Feeding Tips

What to feed wild birds?

Don’t only offer one type of seeds. While black oil sunflower seeds are the most popular seeds in our yard, we also make sure to offer cracked corn, peanuts (for the squirrels), suet, and nuts. In the warmer months, we offer nyger seeds and hummingbird nectar. So, you can encourage bugs to visit your yard by leaving small leaf piles at the base of your trees. Many ground-feeding birds eat bugs.

Plant trees and bushes that offer nuts and berries. We have thimbleberry trees and beach plums. Both are enjoyed by birds in the early fall. We also have a variety of evergreen trees that have pinecones that are eaten by smaller wildlife.

Fall bird feeding tips

Be certain to offer sources of water throughout the year. Food isn’t the only thing that birds need.  It can be challenging when it gets cold to keep the birdbath from freezing. They make small birdbath heaters for this purpose. There are even a few that are solar-powered to keep electric costs down. You can also have a few birdhouses in your yard to encourage nesting.

Fall Bird Feeding Tips

Fall bird feeding can be a fun activity for the family. Be certain to provide a consistent source of a variety of foods to encourage return visitors. A bird identification book can help you learn the different birds if you aren’t already familiar with the birds that visit your area. It’s also fun to identify birds by their song. You can learn the different birdsongs with this CD.

bird house hanging in a tree


Why won’t birds come to my feeder?

If you’ve just put up a bird feeder and aren’t getting birds, here are a few things to consider. It takes up to a week to start seeing birds at your feeder. And, you are more likely to see them in the morning than in the heat of the afternoon. Make sure that there are no neighborhood cats stalking the area. That may be scaring the birds away. And, be sure that the bird feeder isn’t in an area where there are a lot of people. People and animals may be scaring the birds away. Consider adding a birdbath or a birdhouse to give them shelter.

It’s also possible that squirrels or chipmunks in the feeder are scaring the birds away. You can add this to the bird food when you fill the feeder. The animals hate it but it doesn’t bother the birds at all.

Fall Bird Feeding Tips for Wild Backyard Birds Year Round

So, I hope that these fall bird feeding tips have inspired you to put those feeders out. The birds need our help during the colder months to find food. And, by leaving the feeders out all year, we can do our part to help them survive cold winters. 

Finally, why not learn how to make wild bird treats.

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