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NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.– On Thursday, January 19, Tweetspeak visited the Westminster College Field Station to observe the spring Environmental Science class. The Environmental Science students made suet, which is a combination of peanut butter, lard, sunflower seeds, nuts and other seeds important in birds’ diets. Tweetspeak interviewed students as well as the class’s professor, Dr. Patrick Krantz, about this particular type of feed and the overall importance of bird feeders.

There are many types of bird feeders, but below are five of the most common and the types of birds each feeder attracts, according to Wild Birds Forever:

1. Tray/Platform Feeder: Pigeons, Starlings, Jays, Titmice
2. Transparent/Window Feeder: Chickadees, Finches, Titmice
3. Hummingbird Feeder: Hummingbirds
4. Suet Feeder: Woodpeckers, Bluebirds, Nuthatches, Chickadees
5. Tube Feeder: Goldfinches, House Finches, Chickadees

Downy Woodpecker climbing on suet feeder, courtesy of Glenn Thompson.

Suet feeders are unique because of their ingredients as well as their design. Suet feeders are typically used to attract woodpeckers because they can hang on to the feeders and peck at the seeds and grains as if it were a tree. These feeders are also placed up off the ground, out of reach of squirrels and other animals. Other birds such as chickadees are attracted to suet too.

Bird feeders create “centers of activity,” as Krantz stated. Putting up bird feeders at a central location like the Westminster Field Station attracts birds from the local area, provides food for them, and also protects them from human hunters and natural predator Whether you feed birds in your backyard for a hobby or are a professional ornithologist, feeding birds is beneficial for more than just birds. Feeding birds enhances local ecosystems as a whole.


Written and produced by Anna Daniels & Katie Nicholson


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