Feed Tampa Bay birds

Putting out a tube feeder is just the beginning — we’ll get you started in the wide world of birdfeeding.

A cardinal perched on a seed feeder.

When you have guests, you feed them. It’s only polite.

Joe Myers via Wikimedia Commons

Table of Contents

Our local skies house everything from cardinals to chickadees. So how can you invite them to your garden?

Feed them, of course. Late winter to early spring is a crucial time for putting out birdfeeders, as natural food sources may be depleted. Let’s fly through some need-to-knows to keep you popular with the local birds.

Feeder types 🪶

There are three basic types of feeders: seed, suet, and nectar. Suet spoils quickly in the Florida heat, so that leaves...

Browse Wild Birds Unlimited to get a feel for the different types.

As for our beloved swans, sandhill cranes and other waterfowl, leave it to the pros. Improper feeding harms these species more than most.

The perfect setup 🪶

You want to give songbirds an easy meal — not squirrels, cats, or birds of prey — so set up the perfect perch.

The magic numbers for a feeder pole are 30 feet from any windows and 10 feet from cover, particularly native plant cover. In fact, you can even spruce up your garden with bird-friendly plants.

Follow Florida Fish and Wildlife guidelines so you don’t run a-fowl of laws protecting local endangered species.

Maintenance 🪶

Monitoring your feeders is key to keeping the local ecosystem healthy. Clean seed feeders every two weeks, and keep an eye out after rain.

To avoid avian diseases (and connect with other birders), keep tabs on the local Audubon Society. Call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and take down your feeders if something seems amiss.

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