Summer Bird Feeding

Summertime is a great opportunity to experiment with foods other than seed on your bird feeding menu.

Try skewering orange or apple halves on a tree branch for tanagers, grosbeaks and orioles. Thrashers, mockingbirds and catbirds also enjoy fruit, including bananas and watermelon, which attract insects such as fruit flies that in turn may attract hummingbirds.

Consider “live” food for your summer birds. Breeding birds are partial to insects during the nesting season, so offer meal worms, which are beetle larvae, or a handful of grubs.

To entice species that are not normally bird feeder visitors, you can put the insects in a window tray, or simply put out a dish with sides high enough to restrict the wriggly creatures.

Birds only supplement their diet up to 10 to 20 percent at feeders.

If you enjoy feeding the birds, there is no reason to stop feeding the birds in the summer. You can do it year round. Feeding the birds in the summer will not make them lazy or too dependent.