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White-breasted nuthatch photo by Shutterstock

Go Ahead and Feed the Birds!

Last summer, wildlife organizations in several Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states issued advisories for backyard birding enthusiasts to remove feeders and bird baths to halt the spread of a mysterious disease plaguing songbirds. Those advisories have been rescinded. Investigations to explain mysterious illness in birds are still ongoing, but several possible causes have been ruled out. Read on to discover what we’ve learned—and get a refresher on the best ways to keep your feeders and bird baths clean to prevent the spread of disease.
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A ruby-throated hummingbird visits a backyard feeder in fall. Photo by Shutterstock.

Autumn is Here! Should I Take Down My Hummingbird Feeder?

This question is at least partially motivated by the concern that leaving a feeder up will prevent hummingbirds from migrating in the fall. This is a myth. Hummingbirds (and all migratory birds) have an instinctive inner urge that tells them to move. No healthy hummingbird would ever stick around just because you’ve left your feeder up in the fall. But there are some good reasons to keep your hummingbird feeders up! Find out why.
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A male Baltimore oriole visits a feeder offering grape jelly. Photo by Tammy Simmons.

Top 10 Weird Things to Feed Birds

Sunflower seed may be the hamburger of the bird world, but don't you sometimes get bored scooping the same old seed out of those 50-pound bags? We'll never know if the birds get bored, too. But just in case they are yawning at your feeder offerings, BWD editor Bill Thompson, III, has a few suggestions to help you break out of the old feeder routine.
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Bird ID Guide

Bird Identification Guide

What bird is that? Consult our bird identification guide to ID mystery birds in the backyard and beyond. We have photos, song recordings, in-depth entries, and more to help bird watchers correctly identify the birds they spot.
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