Top 5 Favourite Pumpkin Products for Fall22 September 2022 +
It is officially fall, which means… Pumpkin Spice Season! Our furry friends should be able to join us while we enjoy Pumpkin Spice everything! Pumpkin is ...
Backyard birders should provide bird seed that is high in protein, oil, fat, and calories because higher quality food gives winter birds the most energy for keeping warm during colder weather. Offer a variety of food in different feeders to increase the size and diversity of your backyard visitors.
Keep an eye on your backyard winter flocks and adjust food supplies as needed. Limit mixes with fillers like red or golden millet, flax seed, and rape seed because winter birds consume the most nutrient rich food first, these fillers will most likely end up on the ground attracting unwelcomed critters.
Black Oil Sunflower Seed: Black oil sunflower seeds top the list for winter feeding. These sunflower seeds attract a variety of bird species including black-headed grosbeaks, chickadees, house sparrows, northern flickers, and song sparrows. Unlike striped sunflower seeds, black oil sunflower seeds have a thinner shell making them easier for smaller birds to break through them. These seeds are rich in oil and a high source of calories, making them a popular feeder option year-round.
Offer black oil sunflower seeds in hopper feeders, wide-mouthed tube feeders, broad mesh feeders, open trays, dishes, and platform feeders.
Striped Sunflower Seed: Striped sunflower seed are a great source of fat and oil. The hulls on striped sunflowers are thicker and harder than black oil sunflower seed. This seed is popular with larger bird species such as cardinals, blue jays, and grackles.
Offer striped sunflower seeds in hopper feeders, wide-mouthed tube feeders, broad mesh feeders, open trays, dishes, and platform feeders.
Hulled Sunflower Seed: Hulled sunflower seed is popular with songbirds including finches, titmice, chickadees, sparrows, and cardinals. These seeds are rich in oil and a high source of calories, making them a popular feeder option year-round.
Offer hulled sunflower seeds in hopper feeders, wide-mouthed tube feeders, broad mesh feeders, open trays, dishes, and platform feeders.
Safflower Seed: Safflower seeds are white seeds and a favorite among doves and cardinals, though other birds will also feed on safflower seeds if sunflower seeds are not available. This seed is somewhat bitter tasting making it a good choice to detract unwanted critters and feeders with a pest problem.
Offer safflower seeds in hopper feeders, wide-mouthed tube feeders, broad mesh feeders, open trays, dishes, and platform feeders.
Nyjer Seed: Nyjer seed is rich in oil, fat, and protein. It is a favorite among small birds including siskins, goldfinches, redpolls, and juncos. Quail and larger finches often feed on the ground beneath Nyjer feeders, cleaning up spilled seed. Nyjer is more expensive compared to larger seed but has good economic value due to its lack of waste.
Nyjer (or Thistle) seed is very light and best offered in feeders with small openings. Narrow-mouthed tubes and metal or nylon mesh feeders are ideal.
Suet Blocks: Suet blocks are a great energy source for backyard birds particularly in colder temperatures. These densely packed fat and seed blocks give backyard birds extra energy reserves to keep them warm and refueled during cooler weather. There are a variety of birds from chickadees to woodpeckers that enjoy this satisfying snack.
Winter is a perfect time for hanging suet feeders as the colder temperatures keep suet from turning rancid. Suet blocks can be hung from trees (sometimes in onion bags or half inch hardware cloth basket) or in cage feeders.
Cracked Corn: Cracked corn is popular for large ground-feeding birds such as starlings and grackles, as well as pheasants, wild turkeys, and ducks. It has a good source of oil and starch, is inexpensive and can be used to tempt larger birds away from more expensive seeds.
Offer cracked corn in a variety of ways including large platform or dish feeders, sprinkled directly on the ground, or mixed in with other seed.
White Proso Millet: White proso millet is a grass seed that is particularly popular with small birds. Millet is high in starch, protein, fiber, and fat, making it a great energy source for small birds in winter. It is particularly favored by towhees, sparrows, finches, juncos, and buntings among others.
Offer millet in small tube and hopper feeders, open platforms, or dish feeders.
Nuts: Nuts in their natural state are packed full of fat and protein, providing birds with plenty of energy to generate more body heat. Woodpeckers, blue jays, chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, cardinals, and finches are among some of the frequent flyers that will enjoy this tasty treat. Ensure nuts are deshelled and unsalted, as salt is highly toxic to wild birds. It is advisable to purchase nuts from a pet store as bird feed promoted for wild bird to guarantee nuts do not contain any harmful ingredients.
Offer nuts in open platforms or dish feeders, wire mesh feeder for peanuts, or sprinkled on the ground.
Winter Backyard Bird Enthusiasts
Feeding Wild Birds in Winter
Best Winter Bird Feeders
How To Properly Store Bird Seed
Keep Feeding Areas Clean and Maintained
Keep Backyard Birds Healthy in Winter