THIS IS FOR THE BIRDS – – Bird Seed (Who eats what)

April 10, 2012 9:52 am Published by Leave your thoughts

If you stop or walk near the Stull Center or maybe the Ranger Station on Presque Isle, you will see a number of bird feeders scattered around the area.   The birds that do not migrate visit these feeders regularly.    If you would show  up in the Ware yard almost any time during the year, you could also find what might be classified as a squirrel/bird feeder.

Cedar Waxwing

During the summer, our yard becomes a safe haven for all kinds of birds.   I am almost afraid to ever sit down and see how much we actually buy in wild bird seed.   I even received a humming bird feeder and butterfly feeder for Christmas this year.   I found a backyard feeder that 95% of the squirrels have yet to figure out how they might get into it.   That was last summer and fall.   Come spring, I am sure some smart little critter will solve that mystery and pass it on to his buddies.


Picture by Brian Berchtold


You should try feeding our feathered friends and see what simple pleasures they can bring to your day.  First of all, you should try to keep your first feeder simple until you see what might find its way to it.  You can go on the internet and find feeder ideas in abundance.   Your next task will be location, location, location.  I believe the most important factor in location is making it easily visible by you yet safe and handy for the birds.

Before you buy bird seed, there are two important things to remember.  First, a cheap seed mix may not be really worth much.   Second, the high-priced seed may also not worth the extra cost.   So how the heck you know what to buy?   The solution is to check the label.  Isn’t that a novel idea?   That’s almost like asking a man to read the directions on assembling something.

The label will tell you which of the many seeds the main ingredients are.  The label should list all in the order of percent content.  If you see any of the following as major ingredients, save your money; wheat, red millet, white rice, hemp, buckwheat and hulled whole oats.  Birds just do not like these seeds.   The following is a list of what seeds that are found in mixes which birds find attractive.

Cracked Corn:  Blue Jay, cardinal, mourning dove, grosbeak, many sparrows, towhee.

Millet (pearl, golden, white & prosco):  Cardinal, redpoll, carolina wren, many sparrows.

Sunflower Seeds: Cardinal, blue jay, crossbill, chickadee, mourning dove, finches, nuthatches, many sparrows, towhee, many woodpeckers.

Thistle Seed: Finches (their favorite seed), mourning dove.

 Peanut Hearts: Blue Jay, chickadees, finches, nuthatches, grosbeaks, titmouse, wrens, woodpeckers.

 Suet: Woodpeckers, chickadees, flickers, nuthatches, titmouse, wren.


Northern Cardinal

If you put out a feeder in the winter, remember it might take them a week or so to find it.   Suet and seed have little or no smell in cold weather.   Birds feeders are fun and interesting, so why not give one a try.


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