Wild Bird Feeding – Why and How
To a responsible and mature person, wild bird feeding is not an activity or a hobby that should be taken lightly.
The bird feeder which is dedicated to the act requires buying pounds and pounds of bird feed every winter as well as a book about birds and some binoculars to be able to study and identify the different wild bird species.
Every few days, the bird food has to be replenished: which if computed over the years, amounts to a substantially costly investment. A commitment such as that usually brings the expectation of attracting interesting and beautiful wild bird varieties.
Bird feed selection
There are many bird feeds on the market. One can easily buy single bird feed types or mixes at the local supermarket, garden supply store or livestock supply stores.
Believe it or not, the mix one uses for birds has an influence on the variety and quantity of birds that will feed in such places.
This data is based on more than seven hundred thousand observations conducted in California, Maryland, Maine and Ohio.
In this study, striped black sunflower and white millet were the standards used . The rest of the feeds were offered at experimental tables together with one or two of the standards in order to gauge the feeds’ attractiveness.
This study was done under the supervision of the Wildlife Urban Research Program of the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Many birds are actually generalists and will eat a varietiey of foods. However, there are those generalists who will use their own preferred bird foods.
Offering foods that are known to entice birds you would like to see, attracting wild bird species that you desire will be easy and will also drive away those birds you do not prefer, like starlings perhaps.
Those birds who eat seeds are usually attracted to sunflower seeds. The sunflower seed that is found most attractive to birds is the black-oil type.
Another bird feed is the millet. When there are birds such as sparrows that are small, the bird feed to choose is white millet.
The bird feeds that are quite unattractive to wild bird species are canary, rape and flax. Peanut hearts attract starlings quite strongly.
If you want to discourage cowbirds with brown heads or house sparrows, safflower seed is the feed you want.
All in all, wild bird feeding is easy as long as you are prepared to go the extra mile with effort to attract the birds you want and repel those you do not want.