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Birdfeeeders


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Bird Houses, Bird Feeders - Featured Article

There is a wide variety of food available and some types of birds prefer specific feed. One way to break this down is by geographic location. There is no sense in buying food specific to a species of bird which you will never see.

Below is a basic list of the different types of food available which cover a wide variety of bird species.

Berries

All birds love berries but due to their high cost this should be a treat for the birds when you have some quality time to spend watching them. Blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries all will work and will make a wonderful foundation for suet as well. Be prepared, however, for your squirell friends to skurry away with at least 20% of them. If you enjoy a squirell population, berries are a good way to keep them coming back.

Corn and Cracked corn

Corn is a common ingredient of many varieties of mixed seed. Corn is usually eaten after the millet, sunflower seeds and grain are gone. If you dislike larger birds, it is a good idea to discontinue using corn. On the other hand if you like the grace and presence of larger birds, use corn. The following varieties greatly enjoy corn: House sparrow, bluejays, cardinals, blackbirds and grackles. Most often they will also take a few kernels back to their mate and young, so expect quick flybys with lots of activity. The one downside of corn is the fact that it attracts larger birds and therefore can potentially decrease your smaller bird population. One good idea is to locate your corn feeders away from the feeders for the smaller birds.

Millet

Millet is one of the most popular of fillers for mixed bird seed. The most common type is White Proso Millet, which is a cream colored, shiny small round seed. Birds that enjoy Millet are sparrows,doves, thrashers, cardinals and the beautiful Carolina wren. In many seed mixes, as much as 20% of the mix is Millet.

Thistle seed

Thistle is imported from Africa and Asia. It requires special feeders as the seeds are very small. Thistle can be somewhat expensive and it tends to clump up and mold especially in the summer when the weather is damp and hot. It is important to clean your feeders every two to three weeks and to make sure you shake the feeders well each time you refill. This will assure that seed is coming out and will break up any clumps which might be forming. An interesting fact about Thistle is that prior to importation the seeds are sterilized so they will not germinate once they reach North America. Birds that particularly enjoy Thistle include the siskins and finches.

Sunflower and Safflower Seeds

Cardinals,chickadees, nuthatches, creepers, titmice, wrens,sparrows, juncos, all enjoy Sunflower and Safflower seeds. If there can be said to be a universal feed, it is Sunflower seeds. Nearly every variety of bird enjoys cracking open the shell to get to the tender heart of these seeds. Sunflowers are rich in oils and fats which are especially helpful to the birds in winter. They will thank you for it by showing up in large numbers. It is sometimes said that squirells do not like Safflower seeds but mine always seem to eat them right up. When preparing your own mix makes sure that at least 20% of it is Sunflower seeds and another 10 percent is Safflower. This will provide a basic mix which will attract a wide variety of birds.

Peanuts

Wrens, creepers, woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches, and titmice and, of course squirells, love shelled peanuts. Although a bit more expensive then some seed mix ingredients, peanuts will assure you an interesting selection of birds for viewing. We suggest you mix in about 5 percent shelled or crushed peanuts to your basic mix. You never know - you might just awake to a woodpecker poking away at one of your feeders.

Premade Mixed Seed

There are hundreds of variations of premixed seeds. Be careful to check the ingredients, if you are trying to attract a certain type of bird. Premixed feed is good for songbirds as it usually includes everything that they like.

One last feeding tip. Try to refill your feeders and birdbath at the same time each day and wear the same shirt each time. We suggest a work shirt as it could get dirty. The reason for feeding at a consistent time and wearing the same clothes is that it sets up a pattern for the birds and they will know when to come and eat. The birds may also begin to associate you with food and, after a few months, your birds will stay at your feeders right until you fill them This is a wonderful oppourtunity to see birds 'upclose and personal.'

 

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Bird Baths


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Bird Seed


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