Feeding wild birds lets you enjoy your local bird population in their habitat. It is easier than caring for a bird in a cage. Once you provide the fundamentals, it’s easy to maintain.
The basic needs are:
Cover – Most of your birds need a quick place to get cover from predators such as cats, dogs, hawks. Cover is provided by shrubs, trees, tangles of vine plants. Evergreen shrubs and trees are best and provide an additional source of food.
Water – Every bird and predator needs water to drink and bathe especially in the winter when most sources are frozen or snow covered. There are heated water baths and pools if you wish to invest in them. Daily filling of water containers is necessary. The birds will adapt themselves to your schedule to ensure they get water before it freezes. Provide one high off ground and one low.
Food – Assorted bird seed and feeders are readily available from supermarkets, department stores, hardware stores, specialty shops and online. There really is no such thing as a squirrel proof feeder. Squirrels are very resourceful. The best way to deal with them is to provide them with their own food at a distance from your bird feeders. Bird feeders can be elaborate or simple. Birds aren’t fussy. Realize that not all birds feed high. There are many ground feeders such as the mourning dove. In addition to seed, provide suet for the woodpeckers, chickadees, titmouse. This provides them the extra fat for winter heat.
Resource: Feeding Wild Birds