Winter Bird Feeding
Once you start feeding the birds, it is vital that you not stop. The birds are now dependant on the food sources you're providing.
Depending on the birds that frequent your feeders will with a little homework dictate what food sources are best for your feathered guests.
Don't be discouraged if you don't see a lot of bird traffic in the beginning. It may take the birds a little time to discover your bird buffet.
At our home, we put out Black Oil Sunflower Seeds, Peanuts, Safflower and Suet. We also have a heated bird bath.
Here's a link to tbe Bird Notes Newsletter titled: Winter Bird Feeding from Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
When it comes to selecting feeders, you will be amazed at the selection available. You want to ensure the feeder(s) you select are designed to dispense the food/seed selected for the birds in your area. Take into consideration feeder size, location of the feeder and quality. Some are built to last a very long time and others may last one or two feeding seasons.
I recommend that you rely on word of mouth. Birders are a proud bunch of people and will be more than happy to share their knowledge and experience in what works for them. Also consider the specialty shops that sell just about everything there is for birds. They're another source for great information.
Wild Birds Unlimited nature shops are a chain and can be found throughout North America. There are also a number of independent retailers dedicated in providing a variety of birding products and great service such as: A Place to Perch and the The Bird House.