Monday, September 3, 2018

Wild Bird Seed in Our Backyard Feeders

Wild bird seed, once placed in backyard bird feeders will encourage numerous trips from many bird species. Wild seed consists of several assorted forms for attracting different wild birds to our backyards. Bird watching is now a popular hobby for many homeowners. If we have several wild bird feeders and use various wild seeds we will have a variety of birds visiting our backyard.

The seed we use will depend on what birds we would like to see using our wild bird feeders. It is best to know what bird seeds are preferred by the birds in our area. Backyard bird watching is great fun but we need to remember not to overload the feeders. Once the wasted seed hits the ground you may end up with unwanted critters. I have devised a list of some of the seeds and which backyard birds enjoy them.

Black-oil Sunflower Seeds: This feed is considered to be the number one seed. Black-oil sunflower seeds have a high quality of protein because of the large amount of meat contained. Its outer shell is soft enough for the small backyard bird. The wild birds that enjoy this seed are nuthatches, goldfinches, finches, and chickadees. The high content of oil in this seed keeps the wild birds warm and dry during the winter.

Striped Sunflower Seeds: This feed are not as popular and is cheaper than the black-oil sunflower seeds. The smaller wild birds find that the tougher shell is harder to crack which make it more difficult to eat. The wild birds that are known to eat this tougher bird seed include the cardinal, blue jay, and woodpecker.

Cracked Corn: The cracked corn seed can be used in attracting larger variety of bird species such as jays, eastern bluebirds, pheasants, and game birds. If cracked corn is used all year in one of the bird feeders it just may attract some of the birds that do not use the other feeders that have other types of feed.

Millet: This seed is a large part of many mixes and is very tiny and round. This can be used in tubular feeders, hopper feeders and tray feeders. Some backyard birds that enjoy millet include sparrows, quail, juncos, doves, cardinals, buntings, and bobwhites.

Thistle Seeds: This seed is a tiny black seed that does not come from the American thistle that we can see by the side of the road. It is usually imported from Ethiopia and India and is referred to as Nyjer seed. Since the seeds are so small it is best if used in tube feeders or any type feeder that has wire mesh surrounding the feed. Some of the bird species that enjoy this seed include the purple finch, house finch, and goldfinch.

Safflower Seeds: This seed is a large seed that has a white coating. They very often are used in place of black-oil sunflower seeds because some of us do not the starlings, grackles, or house sparrows visiting the bird feeder; these birds do not like the safflower seed. The safflower seed will attract the same birds as the black-oil sunflower and also the jay, grosbeak, and cardinal.

Nuts: The nuts that we are referring to here are peanuts and peanut hearts, which are sometimes sold separately, but are usually found in wild seed mixes. Some of the birds that enjoy this bird feed are cardinals, chickadees, goldfinches, mockingbirds, nuthatches, titmice, and woodpeckers.

Wild Bird Seed Mixes: The wild bird seed mix usually consists of black-oil sunflower seeds, striped sunflower seeds, millet, and one or two other types of seed. These mixes will attract most varieties of birds. They are available in most grocery stores, the wild bird suppliers at many pet centers, and wild bird centers.

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