Five late-season strategies that are good for the birds:
• Let food plants go to seed: thistles, coneflowers, rose hips, berries, sunflowers, sumacs, and native grasses, such as big or little bluestem.
• Set up a variety of feeders. Attract more kinds of birds by setting up different feeding zones. Place feeders at varying heights and distances with different kinds of seed.
• Clean feeders regularly. At least monthly, wash them out with soapy water, then disinfect with solution of one part chlorine bleach to nine parts water. Rinse and let dry completely.
• Clean birdbaths regularly with the 9:1 water/bleach solution.
• Squirrels-proof feeders. Squirrels—yea or nay? Yea: Feed 'em in a separate area with dried corn. Nay: Foil 'em with "squirrel-proof" feeders or use slippery PVC instead of metal for birdfeeder poles.