Our knowledge of bird nutrition is constantly evolving. Natural cycles. 9. Feeding hummingbirds is one of the most popular ways to enjoy backyard birds, but using any sweetener other than plain white sugar to make nectar can be dangerous. The change in seasons could play a role in whether birds can find food in other places, so pay attention to the behavior of the birds in your area. 3) Close nesting of another species: when different species breed in close proximity to each other they occasionally seem to get their wires crossed, feeding each other’s young. You could have two males. It is a delicate act by a typically assertive bird, and it’s easy to understand why humans interpret such a gesture as motivated by love and affection. But you should still keep your bird feeder available in the winter and seasons beyond. This is due both to heightened awareness of the importance of nutrition and to increased research into birds different needs. Birds are doing a lot more than just feeding when they visit your bird feeder. Different species of birds often require different foods. My father always mentions when he’s seen the cardinals feeding each other. For example, woodpeckers will be happiest near trees, while goldfinches will typically prefer to be out in the open. Some feeders styles can be grouped together, while some specialty feeders, such as finch feeders, work best when 10 feet or more from other birds. They are coming and going and interacting with each other in a well-established social pecking order. Many birds engage in variations on courtship feeding, some of which provide more dramatic examples than the cardinal. Here’s part of why they do this. Each bird species has its favored feeding spots. At first it looks like just a flurry of activity—but watch closely and you’ll start to see the daily struggle of dominance playing out in your backyard. It’s possible but it’s not a done deal. As with all other animals, birds need a proper balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals and water. Natural food sources for the birds is actually a good thing for the ecosystem. A bereaved pair of Robins have been observed feeding Song Thrushes, for example, while Spotted Flycatchers have been seen feeding Blackbirds.