Bird Feeding Stations
What is a bird feeding station? It's simple. It's an area within your yard or your property where bird feeders are set up. Most bird feeding stations are set up near the deck or a window, so that the birds are easier to view when they come.
A variety of feeders of different kinds should be used for attracting and feeding a wide variety of species. As for the food itself, bird seed is still popular, but fruit, suet, peanut butter, nectar, and mealworms are also great choices. If you want to attract a specific type of bird, though, there is a specific type of feeder and food that each species favor.
When placing your feeders, it's recommended that you pick a spot that can be seen while indoors, yet close enough to bushes or trees, so the birds can quickly fly to safety if danger should happen to be near. It's also advisable to separate the feeders for the smaller birds from those of the larger birds. Doing so will allow the smaller birds to enjoy their food in peace, and not have to compete with the other, bigger ones. They will appreciate you for it and will reward you by more frequent visits.
A curious thing will sometime happen when you place your seed bird feeders near or within a garden, because sometimes the seeds will sprout! Now, some people may not like the idea of pulling out sprouting plants, especially if they have a well-manicured garden. If so, they can choose to get shelled seeds instead. They will also have the bonus of not having to deal with discarded shells, although the downside is that shelled seeds tend to mold faster. Others may just let the seeds sprout (sunflower seeds for example) and grow a natural sunflower forest for the birds.
I have seen some bird feeding stations that have long branches along with the feeders; these are very nice. These branches can either be tied onto the feeders or pushed into the ground, thus adding some helpful perches for the birds to sit. Some people also use these branches to hang pieces of fruit, while others grow vines up the branches. Vines are useful for breeding insects for the birds, as well as adding some decorative touches. If you want to use vines, though, I suggest using red trumpet-shaped flowering vines, since these help attract hummingbirds and also provide nectar.
A great focal point for your bird feeding station, if you can find one, would be a dead tree (or snag), with the dangerous limbs removed. Woodpeckers and other insect-feeding birds can use the top of the tree, while the other feeders can be hanged on the lower branches. But avoid putting nesting boxes on a snag that is being used as a feeding station, as parent birds do not like lots of other birds around their little ones.
One critical ingredient in having a good bird feeding station is having a water source for the birds to drink and bathe. Never put a bird bath or pond too close to the feeding station, though. Aside from the fact that preening birds prefer some peace and quiet while arranging and drying their feathers, birds will avoid baths that have lots of other activity around them. Lastly, plant some flowers and plants near the bird feeding station to provide nectar and seeds for your visitors. Zinnias, coneflowers, and sunflowers are good choices. Birds will devour these seeds, especially during the autumn season.