TYPES OF FEEDERS

To increase the variety of birds in your backyard, you can try different feeders and bird food.

Suet blocks and cakes: Suet is a high-energy food made from rendered beef fat. It attracts birds likes woodpeckers, chickadees and nuthatches.

Tray feeders: A tray or ground feeder sits on a deck or posts several inches off the ground. The tray prevents seed from spilling, but the birds are more vulnerable to cat attacks. Tray feeders attract doves, juncos, sparrows and towhees.

Tube feeders: A tube feeder is a hanging feeder with several seed dispensing holes. The feeders can be filled with sunflower seeds to attract chickadees, titmice, nuthatches and goldfinches.

Thistle feeder: A thistle feeder is designed to dispense tiny thistle seeds. The feeders have small holes for birds with small beaks, such as goldfinches, redpolls and pine siskins.

For more on backyard birding, visit audubon.org.

Farmington — Bird-watching doesn't have to require a lot of travel. Different feeders can attract a variety of birds to backyards.

"One of the best ways is to use a really good quality bird seed," said Kristi Streiffert, the owner of For The Birds in Durango, Colo.

For The Birds is a store that specializes in bird products, such as feeders and seed.

High-quality food should not have wheat or milo in it, Streiffert said. Many songbirds cannot eat these products.

For The Birds offers a Southwest blend created specifically for the Four Corners area.

"People just love it," Streiffert said. "They are just addicted to it."

To attract hummingbirds, Streiffert suggests using a mixture of one-part sugar to four-parts water.

The sugar provides sucrose for the birds, which is the only substance hummingbirds can metabolize.

Streiffert also advises using regular sugar, rather than the organic variety, because organic sugar contains too much iron.

Pam Coy, a member of the Tuesday Birders in Farmington, said she uses her hummingbird feeders to attract orioles, as well as hummingbirds.

Orioles are orange and black songbirds. Their diet primarily consists of insects, fruit and nectar.

The only difference between Coy's hummingbird feeders and her oriole feeders is the color. The orioles prefer orange-colored feeders while hummingbirds are attracted to the color red.

Hannah Grover covers news, arts and religion for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and hgrover@daily-times.com. Follow her @hmgrover on Twitter.