Bird Seed: What’s the Favorite Munchy of your Birds?
Just like people, different birds like different types of food. It is important to have a general understanding of the types of feed to have handy to attract the specific bird you want around your home. We are all familiar with the most common bird seed on the market, the black-oil sunflower seed. But, have you ever considered the other types of feed that birds like? Suet, peanuts, nectar, natural food from your yards natural vegetation, as well as fruit and other table food, are a favorite among different birds.
Sunflower Seeds Large or Small?
Sunflower seeds are popular among birds because it’s small thin shell is easy to handle and crack open. Watch for different sizes of sunflower seeds. The larger ones that have a white stripe will only be eaten by larger birds because their shells are thicker. Sunflower seeds will attract Pigeons, Doves, Woodpeckers, Titmice, Chickadees, Mockingbirds, Cardinals, Sparrows and Finches.
Suet is a favorite among the birds that like to eat insects, such as the wood pecker or nuthatches. Suet can be purchased like a cake. You can pick to have these cakes packed with other berries and seeds. Suet will attract birds such as the Jays, Mockingbirds, Thrashers, Cardinals, Grosbeaks, Buntings, Blackbirds, Starlings, Orioles, and Finches.
Peanuts for Everyone
Peanuts are a favorite among birds. You don’t even have to crack them. Large birds will hoard them. If they are cracked, they will be devoured by the smaller birds. Peanuts will attract Crows, Wrens, Cardinals, Grosbeaks, Buntings, Towhees, Juncos, Finches, and Pine Siskins.
Sugar for the Little Ones
Nectar is provided for hummingbirds. You will have to have a hummingbird feeder. Nectar is easy to make. Add two parts of sugar to eight parts of water. Bring to a boil. When it is cool, you can pour it into the feeder. Stored sugar water lasts up to one week in the refrigerator.
Flowers and Fruit Trees
Natural vegetation is important for all birds. Make sure your yard and property is bird friendly. Birds like Black Eyed Susan’s, Sunflowers, nectar producing flowers, fern, thistle, small fruit trees and plants like the dogwood, crab apples, and pine.
What’s for Dinner?
Fruits and other human food will be eaten up quickly by birds. Things like raisins, fruit seeds, slices of oranges and apples, grapes, cooked leftover oatmeal, old bread, and cooked left over potatoes are among the favorites. You will attract Quail, Pheasants, Pigeons, Doves, Jays, Chickadees, Wrens, Robins, Bluebirds, Waxwings, Warblers, among others to your property.
Fresh Water, Please
It is always important to have a readily accessible water supply for birds. They get thirsty and like to bathe. Be sure that you keep this water fresh and changed every couple of days. You can use a bird bath, or simply use an old pot. Birds prefer that the water be no more than 2-3 feet above ground level. You can put a couple of hand fulls of sand in the bottom of the bird bath to allow the birds from slipping.
It is important that you do not feed your birds any questionable seed or food products. Just throw it away if it is old or has mold growing on it. Do not be concerned if the birds are a little shy of the new food that you put out for them. They will come around, and after one nibble will be racing each other to the feeder.