One of the best things about having a log cabin in northern Michigan is all the different types of birds we get to see. We have seen Bald Eagles, Pileated Woodpeckers, Black Capped Chickadees, White-breasted Nuthatches and so much more. Setting up bird feeders all over our property and seeing all the different feathered visitors have given us as well as our log cabin guests much enjoyment. I think it's great for the kids in teaching them about nature and wildlife. My 9 year old stepson can now identify every bird that visits our feeders.
If you do decide to feed the birds, I would recommend the following items:
- Buy a Field Guide for Birds so you can identify all your visitors. Amazon has a good selection here.
- Pick up a decent set of Binoculars. These are especially handy for those hikes in the woods and will also help you with bird identification.
- Bird Feeders - I have a varied selection - suet cages, tube feeder, platform feeder (not all birds will feed from a tube feeder) and thistle bag. I would highly recommend getting some baffles or squirrel proof feeders so your birds have a shot at the food!
- Good selection of Bird Seed. The quality seed will attract a better variety of bird - I stay away from the cracked corn and other cheap birdseed fillers. I get the Black Oil Sunflower seed - (many bird's favorite), suet cakes (woodpecker's favorite) and thistle for my finches.
- A heated birdbath - this was one of the best investments I ever made. This is such a popular place in the winter for birds who need water - it expends too much energy for them to eat the snow - plus they still like to take a bath in the winter. (In the summer, just unplug it and you can still use it.) It will also attract birds that won't necessarily come to your feeders. I had a Coopers Hawk drinking out of it last winter - of course no other birds joined him while he was there!
- Bird Houses - we got to experience baby Black-capped Chickadees being raised and learning how to fly this past summer - it was so precious! Not all birds will use a bird house and the birds that do use it have specific requirements sometimes and the opening has to be a certain size, etc. Consult w/ your bird supply store or online.
- Window decals or sun catchers to prevent bird strikes. Over a million birds die per year because of hitting a window. I had 4 chickadees bang their head on my cabin windows last week so I put up the sun catcher I have pictured below.