Columbus, Ohio
We can show you how to turn your yard into a birdfeeding habitat that brings song, color and life to your home.

Check out our updated Hike Series page for Fall Hikes!

You can find directions and times for our hikes to Kiwanis Riverway Park, Emily Traphagen Preserve, Blendon Woods Metro Park and Antrim Park here


Seasonally Savvy

Migration, food preferences and weather vary continuously throughout the year, and these influence the bird activity at your feeders. Being “seasonally savvy” means you adjust your feeding program to match birds' changing behaviors. Learn to embrace seasonal changes, and you will attract more birds and experience even more fun!

For a Seasonally Savvy Bird Feeding Station:

  • Keep your Foundational Feeder and Fat Feeder active and well maintained all year.
  • When bird activity is greater or extreme weather arrives, expand the number of foods and feeders you offer.
  • Change the types of feeders and food as migrating birds arrive, when fledglings begin to show up or as the seasonal habitats change:
    • When Dark-eyed Juncos arrive in the fall, alter your feeding program to include more millet in a feeder near the ground.
    • Add sunflower seeds (in the shell) to your food mix each fall to cater to the caching behavior of chickadees, titmice and nuthatches.
    • Add a water feature to attract migrating warblers and offer Jim's Birdacious® Bark Butter® nearby.
    • Orioles and hummingbirds – offer nectar feeders a week or two before their normal arrival dates. Offer fruit, jelly and mealworms for orioles, too.
    • Add calcium enriched foods during nesting season.


Providing Food Now Will Help Later

During fall and winter, chickadees, nuthatches and titmice will hide food to retrieve and eat at a later time. This behavior is called "caching." Caching helps birds survive during bad weather and when food sources are low.

These birds store hundreds of seeds a day, and each seed is placed in a different location and they remember where each one is. They can find each site accurately even a month later.

By providing an easily accessible food source, you can help your chickadees, nuthatches and titmice with their caching needs. Below is a little more detail on some of your favorite birds' caching behaviors.

Chestnut-backed Chickadee


  • Cache seeds (in the shell and out), nuts, insects and other invertebrate prey
  • Food is typically cached about 100 feet (30 m) from feeders
  • Cache more during the middle of the day
  • May carry off several seeds at a time, but each item is stored in a separate location
  • Store food in knotholes, bark, under shingles, in the ground and on the underside of small branches

Red-breasted Nuthatch


  • Prefer to cache hulled sunflower seeds, because they are easier and faster to cache; occasionally mealworms
  • Choose heavier seeds (because they are larger or have a higher oil content)
  • Food is typically cached about 45 feet (13.5 m) from feeders
  • Most active caching time is early in the day
  • Store food in bark crevices on large tree trunks and on the underside of branches

Tufted Titmouse


  • Cache sunflower, peanuts and safflower
  • Food is typically cached about 130 feet (40 m) from feeders
  • Cache one seed at a time and typically choose the largest seeds available
  • Often remove seeds from their shell (80% of the time) before hiding them