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Old Saturday 10th June 2017, 15:44   #1
NGG1984
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Making the most of a small space

Hello all! I'm pretty new to bird feeding and looking for some suggestions on the best ways to get a better variety of birds to my feeders. I live in a second floor apartment and have a small covered balcony (probably ~5'x9') that I've been hanging the feeders from. There are a few big trees nearby, and I have fushias and bright red begonias on the table and plant stands near the feeders. I'm also looking into getting a deck-mounted birdbath, but other than that, I think I'm pretty limited in ways to attract birds other than the feeders themselves. Last year I just had a hummingbird feeder and got regular visitors. This year I put out a thistle feeder, the hummingbird feeder, and a hopper feeder with 2 suet cages on the side. I get goldfinches all day at the thistle feeder, so I definitely want to keep that just how it is. Since I'm on a second floor and am not even supposed to have bird feeders, I'm using a no-waste blend (Tidy Treat from Wild Birds Unlimited) for the hopper feeder and get mostly house finches and some different sparrows. No squirrels and a rare cowbird when I was still using a cheaper blend, but otherwise no nuisance birds/animals. I had a few chunks nibbled out of the previous suet but never saw what did it, and just changed them to a no-melt mealworm cake, and bark butter (I'm hoping for woodpeckers!). Two days in, and nothing seems to have eaten from them. I see a hummingbird maybe 1-2x a day, but she doesn't seem to drink anything - just hover near the feeder. It's about 5 feet away from the hopper.
So...I'm not sure what to do from here. Might the hummingbirds be staying away since their feeder is near the hopper? Would putting a hanging basket between the two possibly help? Also considered buying a new one with perches, since my current one doesn't have any. Or should I put something else in its place in hopes of attracting different birds? I live in Wisconsin, so it'll be coming down in a few months anyway. I've been looking at stackable seed cylinders and I like the idea of multiple types in one feeder, but I'm afraid they won't attract anything new and house finches will just pick them apart to get what they want and leave a big mess. Or should I replace the hummingbird feeder with something specifically geared toward attracting woodpeckers? I'm trying to be happy with the birds I'm getting, and know I have limited options based on the small area I'm working with but would still like a little more variety if possible. Any suggestions would be very appreciated!
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Old Saturday 10th June 2017, 19:09   #2
KC Foggin
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Hi there and a warm welcome to you from those of us on staff here at BirdForum

I would definitely try putting a flowering hanging basket between the hummer feeder and the hopper. If you can get your hands on some Texas Sage, they love that to pieces. At least mine do I would definitely also try a hummer feeder with perches. Keep up posted on how things are going please.
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Old Saturday 17th June 2017, 21:19   #3
NGG1984
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The new feeder and hanging basket have helped a bit! I'll keep it up for the rest of the summer. I also got my first woodpeckers (either downy or hairy, have to check out the pictures later) this afternoon! Now that I know woodpeckers will come, I may use the rest of the unused space and get a more dedicated feeder for them. Would you suggest an upside suet cage or peanuts? I don't want to try doing mealworms yet.
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Old Saturday 17th June 2017, 22:36   #4
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Both should be appealing to the Woodpeckers but be careful, Jays love the nuts and will eat you out of house and home
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