Posted by The BackYard Gal
on May 29, 2011 in Fruits, Nuts & Seeds
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- Freshness is one of the most important factors in defining the value of bird feed. The fresher the ingredients, the more likely the birds will eat all that you put into your bird feeder and less will be wasted.
Clean/Dust Free Bird Seed
- Powder created during the processing of the feed can add up to pounds of weight, which you pay for, that is useless as bird feed.
Proper Ingredient Selection
- Some seeds, nuts, fruit and minerals are more attractive than others to a greater variety of birds. Therefore, a knowledgeable selection of ingredients for each environment, during each season, will provide you and your birds with maximum value for your bird feeding budget. Fillers like wheat and milo can mask the cost of “Discount” bird feed and will make the actual cost of consumable bird seed sky rocket! Look for sunflowers, nuts, corn, millets and fruit to attract the most birds.
- Mature sunflower seeds have more kernel than immature seeds Additionally, sunflowers tend to have greater kernel weight on different parts of the sunflower face. Proper buying ensures greater kernel density and thus more food for birds. The best seeds are found on the outer circumference of the sunflower head. Ask your supplier if he or she knows how to ensure high kernel content.
Environmentally & Seasonally Suited Ingredients
- Birds are inclined to reside in either the meadow, woodland or urban areas. Additionally, different birds frequent different areas during each of the four seasons. Consider the area where you are feeding and try to accommodate those birds with seed that is appropriate to their environment.
Spring/Summer Seed Blends
- A good spring and summer seed blend will include fruit and calcium and should be high in protein. Fruit is attractive to the migratory fruit eating birds and calcium is beneficial to birds for egg production.
Fall/Winter Seed Blends
- Grit and energy foods for warmth are attractive ingredients for fall and winter seed blends. High carbohydrate grains will provide warmth and grit will provide a source that is a better alternative to road salt which is often the only available source of grit in mid winter. This will ensure that the birds’ salt intake is minimal and will also reduce the likelihood of them being hit by cars.
- Hard shelled foods such as sunflowers, peanuts in shell and whole corn tend to be less attractive to starlings. However, starlings are one of the best birds for reducing insects from your lawn, so sometimes you may actually benefit from their presence.
- Nuts are nutritionally beneficial to birds and will attract an interesting selection of woodpeckers, blue jays, chickadees, nuthatches, etc. Look for nuts that are salt free and are not rancid.