As you prepare to entertain the family for the holiday feasting that lies ahead, why not also prepare a feast for your feathered friends in the neighborhood? Hang some bird feeders and make holiday treats for them. The National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas, is known almost as well for its birds as its butterflies, thanks to an assortment of feeders, bird baths and choice native plants — not only for food but great nesting too.

We have one thing in common with many birds, and that is a love for sunflower seeds. While we eat the ones with stripes, birds prefer the black-oil type sunflower seeds. Birds like cardinals, chickadees, titmice and finches all love sunflower seeds. Thistles are tiny seeds that appeal to finches, sparrows and chickadees. You may want a thistle feeder for these little ones. I have been amazed at how quickly birds notice feeders and start to partake. Little chickadees came to the new thistle feeder within a couple of hours after placing it in the yard.

The bird that showed up first, however, was a bright red cardinal. Even though the holes in the thistle feeder were tiny, he still managed to get a meal. I didn’t bother telling him the books said he was not supposed to be able to feed there. The mixes sold as wild bird feed usually have a combination of sunflowers, millet, sorghum and canary seed. As you may have been told, and I will reiterate, there will be a lot of seed germination beneath the feeder, so a little weed control may be needed from time to time.

The feeders that amaze me most at the National Butterfly Center are our short peanut butter logs that are about 18 to 24 inches long. We drill 6 holes 1¼ inch wide and hang. The holes are filled with a mix of peanut butter and yellow corn meal. Since we have several feeders our recipe is large.

Our volunteers make it using 64 ounces of crunchy peanut butter mixed with 2 pounds of yellow corn meal. The tasty mix is stored in a large plastic container. Once the holes of the feeders are plugged with the mix, the birds flock to the feeder in a matter of a few short minutes. To be honest, it is a sight to behold.

The next biggest surprise to me is the absolute adoration the birds have for grapefruits and oranges. Orioles, especially, are attracted to the colorful fruit.

By all means incorporate native plants in the landscape with berries or fruit that birds consider a delicacy. Some of my favorites are yaupon holly, possum haw holly, wax myrtle, dogwood and American beautyberry.

Norman Winter is executive director of The National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas, and author “Captivating Combinations: Color and Style in the Garden.”