I have been trying to hand feed birds for a long time, and a few weeks ago I succeeded. I started 4 or 5 years ago in Alaska with Appa and Uncle John! Appa has platform feeders that attract Pine grosbeaks and chickadees. I didn’t have any luck so Uncle John said let them get used to the feeder than take the food away. It was very good advice and it worked!
I kept trying at our old house under the power line. The chickadees would be right above me on the powerline but they never came down. Uncle John’s technique nearly worked for me, and I got so close. I think that I should of been closer to the fence or lilac trees so they had a surface to land onto! Nearly every day I would go out with a handful of bird seed and try again and again! I tried for so long that I actully saw a new species, a flock of Red crossbills!
I even tried at the cabin with the Steller’s Jays! I used peanuts because it is their favorite type of nut and when I wasn’t trying to hand feed I would watch them figure out how to use the hanging feeder or just eat peanuts off the stump!
In January, a red-breasted nuthatch ate out of my hand. I was so excited that it finally happened. I never thought that the first bird to eat out of my hand would be a red-breasted nuthatch. I always thought it would be a chickadee. But in February a chickadee ate out of my hand!
While I’m outside I listen to what the chickadees think of me. They are getting more and more comfortable around me so they only say chickadee-dee. I have noticed that the chickadee’s claws are sharper than the red-breasted nuthatches!
I was very excited to have a bird land on my hand. I’m so glad that the birds haven’t pooped on me yet! I learned that the more still you stand and the closer you are to a branch or trunk, the more often the birds will visit and also don’t make any sudden movement!
I think that hand feeding birds is a really interesting and exciting way to feed birds and if you ever try I think that you will think so too!