The Right Stuff For Your Bird Feeder: Making Sure Birds Love What You Bring to Dinner

It is settled, done, and you’re ready – you have decided to make the ultimate jump into supporting avian wildlife in your community, and have purchased a bird feeder. This is a great addition to your outdoor paradise, as it encourages feathered friends to come down and frequent your deck, patio, or wherever you put it. Plus, it adds an exotic flavor to your patio, as you now have wildlife circling your patio as if it were their property.

So you get home, put the bird feeder up near your deck, and are ready for avian wildlife of all kinds to show up and start enjoying the benefits of your deck. There’s a major problem, however: the birds are not showing up at all. You’ve put in different kinds of seed, tried moving the feeder to different parts of your deck, even tried putting on a three ring circus for the birds – but nothing seems to attract them. Believe it or not, this is a common problem for the bird feeder owner. Not knowing what kind of birds they are catering to, many people get the value bird seed. The result is inferior bird seed that nobody – not even the rodents – wants to eat.

The good news is that it is not your fault – being a misinformed consumer is something that affects us all time and time again. Furthermore, wanting to help the ecosystem by putting up a bird feeder isn’t a bad thing either. And both are easily corrected with a little research, and knowing what type of seed will benefit you the most.

First off, consider the type of bird feeder you have before you consider what kind of seed you want. If you are using a tube feeder, bigger grain and coarser seed will not be of any benefit to you whatsoever – it will get stuck in the tube easier, and won’t be appealing to smaller birds. Conversely, you don’t necessarily want a finer grain seed in a hopper-style feeder, as the feeder won’t be able to hold back the small grains as well. By considering the birds you want to attract with the feeder you have, you are on the right track to marrying the two and bringing birds back to your deck.

After considering the type of bird feeder you have, its now time to put some deeper thought in the seed you are putting in for your wildlife to enjoy. Different kinds of birdseed will attract different kinds of birds to your patio, depending on what is indigenous to your community. Sunflower seeds are some of the more common bird feed out there, because of their high fat and oil content that birds need in their diet. However, not all sunflower seeds are equal: stripped sunflower seeds come in shell, and are harder for birds to open on their own, where as black oil sunflower seeds are easy to eat and high in nutrition for birds. Hulled sunflower seeds are the happy medium between the two, attracting a wide variety of birds without the mess that comes with. If you live where upland birds are plenty, consider adding millet seed to your bird feeder. Also high in nutrition and small, this seed attracts upland birds because of their dietary needs. Cracked corn is also an excellent choice for upland game, as it is a natural part of their diet.

Buying a bird feeder is only the first step to getting birds attracted to your homestead. By knowing the correct seed to apply, you are ensuring that birds will be attracted to your feeder, giving you enjoyment out of your feeder for years to com

Joseph Kortez is a freelance writer with diverse interests including home and garden, outdoor furniture and backyard living. As a media professional, his work has been featured on CNN and the CBS Evening News. He currently writes for Outdoor Furniture Plus.

Posted by admin | Posted in Birds | Posted on 16-03-2010

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