How to Hand-feed Wild Birds

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How to Hand-feed Wild Birds

Have you ever wanted to hand-feed wild birds? This short guide walks you through the key steps for forming trusting relationships with the birds that visit your garden each day. With this gentle process, over a period of time, they will eventually be happy to take treats right from the palm of your hand. Like any good relationship, it’s not something you can rush, but when it happens, hand-feeding is a most rewarding experience.

For the top recommended bird feeders and supplies, also see .

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This guest post by Hallie Tennant walks you through the basic steps for forming a trusting relationship with the wild birds that visit your feeders each day. Even if you don’t want to hand-feed, you may find this helpful.

How to Hand-feed Wild Birds

It’s common for birds to fly off when a human enters their feeding space. These steps will show you how to get them comfortable with your presence.

If you’d like to see live action hand-feeding, scroll down to the bottom for some neat videos.

If you have your own experience with hand-feeding wild birds, please share your tips in the comments.

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We’re in Ontario, Canada and here the birds most likely to adapt to hand-feeding are chickadees, nuthatches, titmice, and downy woodpeckers. Blue Jays can also learn to catch tossed peanuts.

How to Hand-feed Wild Birds

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10 Steps Toward Hand-feeding Wild Birds

Get ready to unleash your inner Snow White.

1) Create a bird-friendly environment

- Having lots of tall, dense foliage with plenty of places to perch will create a safe, welcoming environment for a variety of wild birds.

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