Bird Seed & Feed

Bird Seed & Feed

November 14, 2017

Birds and bird seed feeders

Tis the season for remembering our feathered friends the birds! Watching for and feeding birds seems to be a hobby that is often forgotten.
For those of us that keep the tradition alive, we can’t wait to look out the window in the morning from the breakfast table to see the bright
yellow finches emptying our feeders, or the occasional rich red cardinal bouncing around on the ground picking up what others have spilled.
If you enjoy slow, lazy mornings in the winter, consider adding bird watching to your routine.

Birds you’ll see this season

While southern birds including hummingbirds have migrated south for the winter, there are still many local birds to enjoy in the cool season.
Some of the most common you will find are:

Finches

 

Sparrows

 

Cardinals

 

Finches in Blue Springs Sparrows in Blue Springs Cardinals in Blue Springs

Blue Jays

Woodpeckers

Blue Jays in Blue Springs Woodpecker in Blue Springs

Each has its own unique set of coloring and markings. Winter often takes away the color and excitement in our landscape,
so seeing flashes of yellow, red, and blue can be as rewarding as enjoying a new bloom in the garden in the summer.

Birds can be picky when it comes to their food.

There are many seeds or blends of seeds that will attract a wide variety of birds. Almost all birds enjoy sunflower, both in the shell and out.
Blends of millet, sunflower, and cornwill also attract a variety of species.

Are you looking to attract a certain type of bird?

If you are looking to attract a certain type of bird consider the type of feeder and food you offer.

Finches

Finches prefer smaller seed like thistle (nyjer) and sunflower chips and prefer a feeder with small slits and perches. This type of feeder keeps larger birds and squirrels out of the seed.

 

Cardinals

Cardinals enjoy a variety of seed but especially love safflower. While they occasionally feed on the ground, they prefer feeders that have a large platform for them to land and eat.

 

Blue jays can be a little trickier to attract. Their favorite foods are shelled peanuts and dried mealworms.

Another bird feeder to consider!

A different type of feeder to consider is a suet feeder.

Suet cakes are made up of fats, seeds, nuts, and fruits. Colonial offers a variety of flavors to choose from. They offer a high concentration of calories for birds like woodpeckers and chickadees.

You’ll recognize woodpeckers by their black and white spots and red-orange stripe on their head. Suet feeders often look like a small cage to contain the cake. You can also purchase suet plugs that work well with
suet logs.

Important bird tips to remember

If you purchase seed in bulk it’s important to consider where you store your extra seed.
Avoid the mistake of storing it inside your home as this can attract pantry moths, which are difficult to get rid of once an infestation has taken place.
Colonial sells inexpensive pheromone traps that attract the moths. This can also help keep them out of seed.
It is best to store extra seed in an air-tight container in a cool location either outdoors or in a garage. Never let seed sit for more than a month or so as it can invite all sorts of critters.

Speaking of critters, squirrels can be quite a nuisance when feeding the birds as they enjoy many of the same food. They have an aggressive appetite and tenacious spirit that can empty a feeder quickly. Some birdwatchers repel squirrels with devices like baffles that prevent them from climbing up the feeder. Others find it more effective to feed the squirrels themselves separately from the food intended for the birds. Colonial offers both options to help you keep them at bay.

When you first start feeding the birds, don’t be discouraged if your yard is not full of finches and other feathered friends right away. It takes time for the birds to find you, but they always do! They will soon add you to their list of frequent meals stops once they see the menu you are offering them. Happy birding!

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