Since we enjoy watching birds year round, we have feeders attached to our deck railing. We feed only black oil sunflower seeds since Cardinals, Blue Jays, Tufted Titmice, Chickadees, Goldfinches, House Finches, Rose Breasted Grosbeaks, and Nuthatches all love them. Cheaper bird food seems to have filler seeds that drop to the ground uneaten. Sunflower seeds that fall are eaten by Juncos and Mourning Doves, who like dining on the lower level.
Other birds, such as the Downy, Hairy, and Red-bellied Woodpeckers, prefer suet and we’ve found that the cheapest suet brick in a cage feeder attracts as many birds as the more expensive ‘flavored’ kinds.
As weather permits, we eat on the deck every night and the birds get used to us. They flutter and squawk as they jockey for position. Lots of drama, especially in the finch family, but no blood is shed. We also hang a hummingbird feeder and get one shy visitor at a time who leaves if we speak or move our heads.
My magic moment last year was feeding suet to an impatient, juvenile Downey Woodpecker by extending a freshly loaded cage toward it. It jumped on the cage and began pecking in earnest, watching me with its bright black eye, showing no fear at all.