Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Be careful how you offer it though. You do not want to add it to your birdfeeder in large quantities. The sticky peanut butter is not good if it gets on the birds feathers. Make sure that it is offered in a way that this does not happen. A big wad of peanut butter may also be just as hard for the birds to swallow as it is for us. We offer peanut butter in very small quantities when the weather is very cold. Smearing it on tree bark or a pine cone is a great way to offer it to the birds.
Find a nice sized pine cone and twist wire around the top. You want to make the wire into a hanger so you can hang it from a tree. This is a great family project to do with the kids. Spread the peanut butter over the cone and then sprinkle or roll it in your birdseed. Leave it in your freezer for a half hour and then hang the pine cone out in your yard where you can watch from a window. Get out your binoculars, because you are in for a treat. This will attract many birds to your yard.
We have a great peanut butter bird pudding recipe we would like to share with you. You will need peanut butter, corn meal, sunflower seeds (or bridseed) and bread crumbs. You will also need a large bowl and wooden spoon.
Add one part peanut butter to three parts corn meal and all your other ingredients. Each time you make a new batch, you can make it different because of the ingredients you choose to add.
Fold this mixture in the large bowl with the wooden spoon until it is distributed evenly.
You can use this mixture on pine cones or add it to a mesh bag. Tie one end of the mesh bag in a knot, fill the bag with your mixture and tie a string to the other end to hang it. The brids love this mesh bag. It is easy for them to hang on to as they eat the food through the mesh. Just make sure you hang it securely.
Stay tuned....Fred will be taking pictures of a bird feeder he made out of a tree branch. He drilled various holes throughout the branch and attached a hook on top with strong wire. We filled the holes with our peanut butter bird pudding recipe and hung it in the tree. The birds are absolutely crazy about it.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Hulled proso white millet is an easily digested treat for your birds and found in most mixes of wild birdseed. You can also purchase this seed by itself. This type of food is hard to find and very expensive though. The white tiny seeds attract a variety of birds, especially towhees, juncos, doves, native sparrows, quail and bobwhite. The painted and indigo buntings love white proso millet. These are two of the most beautiful colorful songbirds you will ever see. If these two types of birds are in your area, you may want to spend the extra money because the sight of them is well worth it!
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Nyger (Thistle) seeds are tiny black seeds imported from Asia and Africa. Most bird lovers hang the seed in a thistle sock which can be purchased at your local pet store.
Nyger (Thistle) seed also will attract purple finches, house finches and juncos. Goldfinches turn a brilliant yellow color in the late spring during breeding season. Go out today and get a thistle feeder, fill it with Gold Nyger Seeds and attract one of the brightest and beautiful birds, the goldfinch, to you backyard.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
In addition to attracting cardinals, grosbeaks and downy woodpeckers, you can also attract chickadees, titmice and nuthatches. Did you know that there are birds out there that hog your bird feeders? Some of these types of birds are grackles, starlings and blackbirds. Using safflower seeds in your birdseed mix will deter these types of birds.
Safflower seeds are found in quality wild birdseed mixes and are expensive. Very rarely will you find them in bird seed mixes at grocery stores. Look for a wild birdseed mix that offers safflower seeds in it if you wish to attract cardinals to your yard.
Supposedly squirrels will ignore feeders with safflower seeds because they find them bitter. If you have a chipmunks in your yard, you may not want to use this type of seed because they love it.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
These hulled sunflower seeds can be purchased whole or as chips, (sometimes called hearts) and both forms are used in many wild bird seed mixes. These hulled seeds make no mess of shells that accumulate under the feeders as with the striped sunflower seeds or black oil sunflower seeds. You must remember though, that the shells of sunflower seeds contain a component that is toxic to grass. This component will kill any grass that is growing around or beneath your feeders. Raking up these seeds are a must and because of this, many people often choose hulled sunflower seeds.
Feeding the birds hulled sunflower seeds can be a huge benefit to the birds because none of their precious energy reserves are wasted opening the shells during the cold winter monts.Hulled sunflower seeds attract a larger variety of species including birds that are not equipped with the beaks to crack open shells or not usually associated with eating sunflower seeds. By putting this seed out you may see robins, thrushes, mockingbirds, thrashers, catbirds, sparrows and bluebirds feeding at the base of your feeders.
The best reason to put out hulled sunflower seeds though, is to attract goldfinches. They simply cannot resist this food. Hulled sunflower seeds practically guarantee they'll be regular visitors at any feeder. Don't be surpised if you also see house wrens, purple finches, chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, cardinals, grosbeaks and
Because the shells have to be removed, these seeds are costlier than sunflower seeds in the shell. There is a draw back to buying hulled sunflower seeds. The shelled seeds tend to spoil faster if exposed to dampness, so watch what type of feeder you use. They should be offered in feeders that provide protection from the elements so they stay dry for the birds to enjoy.
Monday, January 12, 2009
Striped sunflower seeds are larger and less expensive than black oil sunflower seeds. They have a thicker shell and a white stripe on them. The larger size and thicker shell can make them harder for the small birds to eat, but the larger heavy billed birds like cardinals, bluejays, woodpeckers and grosbeaks do not have any problem breaking through to the sunflower seed inside. The small birds such as chickadees, nuthatches and titmice also can open the shells of striped sunflower seeds and will eat them when nothing else is readily available.
Friday, January 9, 2009
Black oil sunflower seed has a higher percentage of meat and has a nutritious source of protein. The thin, soft outer shell makes it easy for birds to open, especially small birds. Once opened, black oil sunflower seeds offer more nutrients than any other type of seed. The seed has a high concentration of oil too. This is very important in winter. Birds use their oil glands to spread the oil over their feathers to keep them dry and warm.
Filling your feeders with black oil sunflower seeds will attract chickadees, nuthatches, titmice, goldfinches, pine skins, finches, grosbeaks and cardinals.
This type of seed may cost more but you will not be disappointed. We have been buying black oil sunflower seeds for years now and have a variety of birds in our backyard during the winter months. Fred fills the feeders on a regular basis. We have one that is designated for this type of seed only and it is always empty before the others.
Try black oil sunflower seeds in your feeders. We would love to hear your results. Check back for more information during the next few days on what other types of feed birds love.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Fred was out in the yard the other day feeding the birds after the big snow storm when the neighbor walked by with their dog. After shooting the breeze for a while the neighbor asked Fred a question about birdseed. What type do you use?
We all know that birdseed is readily available at the grocery store and costs a lot less than birdseed at a pet store or through a specialty catalog....BUT....Is it the same thing?
No, it is not! The grocery store brand, for less money, will not be as appealing to the birds. It is most always mixed with a lot of "filler" seeds. These "filler" seeds take up room in the bag and the birds find these kind of seeds undesirable. You know exactly what I mean. This is the birdseed you see on the ground after the birds have picked through it to find what they really want. The good birdseed is going to cost you a little more, but your birds will truly love you for it! And premium birdseed will actually give you more edible seed per pound than the other inexpensive seed mixes. Remember, you get what you pay for.
There are many kinds of birdseed to choose from, but a few basic types can satisfy the most finicky birds. Buying several varieties of seed in bulk and mixing them yourself can actually save you money, too.
Stay tuned please. Over the next few days Fred will let you know what kinds of birdseed attract what types of birds and why.