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Florida’s Backyard Birds: Attracting, Feeding & Identification (2024)

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backyard birds of floridaDo you want to attract Florida’s backyard birds to your yard and feed them? Then this guide is for you!

Learn all about the kinds of bird feeders available, what food they like best, where to place them in your yard, and how to make sure they stick around.

From palm warblers and yellow-rumped warblers in wintertime through Eastern Phoebes year-round – there’s a wide variety of beautiful birds that can be found right outside your door.

With 538 species of native birds (plus escaped or exotic ones) living here in Florida – it pays off big time when you know exactly which ones are visiting!

Read on for tips on attracting these feathered friends plus an ID chart with photos so you’ll recognize who’s at the feeder every day.

Key Takeaways

  • There are 538 species of birds in Florida, making it a great place for birdwatching in your backyard.
  • Different types of bird feeders, such as tube, hopper, suet, and nectar feeders, can be used to attract specific bird species.
  • Sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, suet, mealworms, and fruit are some of the preferred bird foods that can be offered to attract a variety of bird species.
  • Proper feeder placement, providing water sources, using native plants, and regular feeder maintenance are important for attracting and keeping birds in your yard.

Types of Backyard Bird Feeders

Types of Backyard Bird Feeders
Select tube feeders to attract chickadees, finches, titmice, and other small birds. Hopper or platform feeders work well for larger birds like cardinals, doves, and jays. A suet feeder provides high-energy food that woodpeckers especially enjoy. And don’t forget a nectar feeder to attract hummingbirds and orioles.

Consider different feeders for various backyard birds. Tube feeders suit chickadees, while hopper feeders are better for doves.

Selecting the right feeders and foods will help attract more bird species to your backyard. Providing a variety of feeders tailored to different birds makes your yard more attractive for many species.

Choosing the Right Bird Food

Choosing the Right Bird Food
Most bird species in the Florida wilds have preferences on how we feed them in our yards. Smaller finches and warblers flock to tube feeders filled with nectar and sunflower seeds, while beefy woodpeckers chisel away at suet and peanuts from a hanging wooden feeder with their drumstick-like bills until late in the evening.

When choosing how and where to feed birds in your Florida yard, it helps to know their natural diet, flocking habits and times of day that make your yard more welcoming and appealing.

Types of bird feeders

orange halves skewered on branches to attract orioles, small mesh bags filled with mealworms for bluebirds, and shallow dishes of fresh fruit for tanagers and grosbeaks. A jelly feeder can also draw in woodpeckers. Consider picking up some of these to round out your feeding stations for migrating songbirds.

  1. Orange halves
  2. Mealworm bags
  3. Fruit dishes
  4. Jelly feeders
  5. Sugar water

Bird food preferences

Different birds like different types of food, so offer a variety to attract more species. Sunflower seeds appeal to cardinals, titmice, and chickadees. Safflower seeds attract cardinals but deter other birds.

Suet satisfies woodpeckers and bluebirds. Mealworms entice bluebirds and wrens. Fruit draws tanagers, orioles, and mockingbirds. Adjust offerings seasonally, providing what birds naturally seek. With diverse foods and feeders, you’ll attract a colorful diversity of feathered friends.

Offering the foods each species loves helps them thrive all year long, bringing you closer to nature’s daily wonders.

Feeder placement tips

Place the feeder where hungry birds can find it, friend, so their tiny bellies don’t stay empty. Position feeders close to windows so birds see the obstacle coming. Keep cats indoors, as they stalk and pounce on birds.

Scrub feeders often to prevent disease spread. Use squirrel-proof feeders or baffles to stop the furry thieves. If birds don’t come soon, examine the placement and try moving it closer to cover. Adding native plants provides natural food sources too. Disease prevention and squirrel control help maintain a safe haven for backyard birds.

Attracting Birds to Your Yard

Attracting Birds to Your Yard

  1. Provide a variety of food sources. Different birds have different dietary preferences, so offer a mix like sunflower seeds, fruit from feeders, and native plants.
  2. Add a water source. A birdbath, fountain, or small wildlife pond gives birds a place to drink, bathe, and gather.

Landscape for birds. Choose native plants that provide food, shelter, and nesting spots. Also avoid pesticides that reduce insects birds rely on. With some planning, you can create an avian oasis right in your yard.

Online tools from Cornell Lab and Audubon can help you select the best native plants and bird-friendly designs. Follow their advice and you’ll soon have happy backyard birds feasting at your personal buffet.

Ideal Feeder Locations in Florida

Ideal Feeder Locations in Florida
You’ll attract more species by situating feeders near natural cover. Position feeders where birds feel safe from predators. Near trees or shrubs gives small birds quick escape cover. Larger birds like open turf or water views.

Place feeders to allow easy access. Ground feeders on open lawns. Elevated feeders 5 to 10 feet high, accessible by perches or small trees. Include a water source like a birdbath or fountain. Arrange feeders to avoid window collisions.

Hummingbird feeders in bright flower gardens will draw these tiny acrobats. Suet feeders on trees attract woodpeckers and migrating warblers. Platform feeders with millet and sunflower please ground feeders like jays and doves.

Multiple feeder types in optimal spots will delight both you and a diverse wild birds.

Tips for Cleaning Bird Feeders

Tips for Cleaning Bird Feeders
Scrub your feeders thoroughly once a week to keep the seeds you provide safe from diseases, removing any clinging debris with an old toothbrush.

  1. Use a 10% bleach solution to disinfect plastic feeders and kill bacteria.
  2. Rinse feeders well before refilling to remove all bleach residue.
  3. Allow wooden feeders to air-dry completely between uses to prevent mold growth.
  4. Opt for bird-safe, natural cleaning products when possible.
  5. Wear gloves during the cleaning process to avoid transferring oils or germs.

Regular feeder maintenance helps prevent the spread of diseases among backyard birds in Florida, especially during busy seasons when more species stop by to refuel. Taking a few minutes each week to scrub away old seed and growth ensures happy, healthy birds can continue visiting your yard.

Dealing With Squirrels at Bird Feeders

Dealing With Squirrels at Bird Feeders
Folks, those pesky squirrels keep stealing the birdseed. Try using a squirrel-proof feeder to protect your feathered friends! Some options for squirrel-resistant feeders include:

Feeder Type Description
Weight sensitive Shuts off when squirrels climb on.
Caged/enclosed Prevents access to seed.
Spinner Spins to deter perching.
Chili pepper coated Adds taste deterrent.
Pole mounted Harder for squirrels to access.

Consider placing feeders far from trees and fences that squirrels can access. Squirrel baffles also help block access to feeders. Ultimately, completely blocking squirrels is a challenge. Try deterring them with natural sprays, regularly cleaning up fallen seeds, and using bird friendly landscaping.

A little trial and error can help achieve a balance between our feathered friends and those pesky squirrels in our backyards.

Keeping Cats Away From Birds

Keeping Cats Away From Birds
C’mon now, keeping Kitty inside is the easiest way to protect those feathery friends visiting your yard.

  1. Install ultrasonic cat deterrents. The high-frequency sound annoys cats but is silent to humans.
  2. Use motion-activated sprinklers and Ssscat repellents. A spray of water or air startles kitty.
  3. Build a catio – an enclosed outdoor cat area. Let kitty watch the birds from inside.
  4. Train your cat. Use positive reinforcement to discourage stalking birds. Reward non-predatory behavior.

Ultimately, the safest solution for birds is keeping cats indoors. However, with some effort, you can have both happy kitties and safe backyard birds like northern mockingbirds, blue jays, and more enjoying your yard.

What to Do if Birds Aren’t Visiting Your Feeders

What to Do if Birds Aren
If the so-called birds are playing hard to get with your lovingly crafted feeders, it’s time to pull out the heavy artillery and guilt trip those feathered freeloaders into visiting your yard. Try moving your feeders closer to cover, like trees or shrubs, so birds feel safer.

Also ensure you’re providing the right seeds, fruits, suet and nuts for the species you want to attract.

Keep feeders clean to prevent disease. Finally, have patience as it may take time for birds to discover new feeders.

Providing native plants, water and shelter will make your yard more enticing. With some strategic feeder placement and tweaks, those backyard birds will soon be feasting at your all-you-can-eat buffet.

Best Birding Locations in Florida

Best Birding Locations in Florida
Head down to the coasts for prime birdwatching as migratory birds stop to rest and feed along Florida’s shores.

  • Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge offers excellent coastal birding with over 500 species recorded. Watch for migratory shorebirds and wading birds.
  • The Great Florida Birding Trail has over 2000 miles of self-guided trails and 500 birding sites. Follow routes like the Panhandle Pathway for outstanding migratory hotspots.
  • Join the Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival in January, the largest birding festival in the U.S. Enjoy guided trips, seminars by experts, and avian exhibits.

Grab your binoculars and field guide and explore Florida’s bountiful birding habitat. With quiet observation, you may spot a brilliantly colored warbler or the elusive mangrove cuckoo.


To wrap up, the birds of Florida can make a beautiful addition to any backyard. With the right bird feeders and food, you can attract a wide variety of backyard birds. There are different types of feeders for birds of different sizes, and different types of food they prefer.

Make sure to place your feeders in a safe spot to protect the birds from predators. With a little patience and observation, you will be able to identify the birds in your backyard and build relationships with them.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh is a passionate bird enthusiast and author with a deep love for avian creatures. With years of experience studying and observing birds in their natural habitats, Mutasim has developed a profound understanding of their behavior, habitats, and conservation. Through his writings, Mutasim aims to inspire others to appreciate and protect the beautiful world of birds.