How To Attract Wild Birds With Bird Seed
Birds provide a lovely backdrop to any environment. Their beautiful songs make us feel comforted and relax us on a warm spring morning. Their gentle motions are a delight to watch, and particularly for bird-watchers who know what to look for, it’s a fulfilling hobby. If you want to begin bird-watching in your own backyard, then use this guide to find the best wild birdseed and discover other things you can do to attract birds.
Types of Bird Seed
The most common type of bird seed is simple, pure sunflower seed. These seeds are known as “black oil sunflower seeds.” The sunflower seeds with white stripes are a bigger variety and have more meat inside, and they are much easier for birds to crack with their beaks and get into the center. Generally all birds enjoy sunflower seeds, including finches, jays, cardinals, woodpeckers and many other species. You can find sunflower seeds in bulk at just about any retailer. Once the birds are accustomed to the seeds and feedings, you can begin mixing in more wild bird seed ingredients.
Suet is made from kidney fat. This type of bird feed attracts birds that eat insects, like woodpeckers. Some suet combines other ingredients, such as berries, and comes in a cake-like form. There are bird feeders specially designed to house suet cakes so that they are easily accessible for the animals when they come to feed.
You can be creative when it comes to mixing your wild bird seed. Remember that just like humans, birds enjoy variety in their food. Add in some raisins, grapes or dried cranberries for a special treat. Throw in some unsalted and un-buttered popcorn or peanuts. Be sure to only include food that has not been treated with preservatives or too much salt, as this can be harmful to birds.
Nectar is another option used to attract birds, although it does not contain any seeds. Nectar is basically a sugar and water combination that attracts hummingbirds to feed. Orioles also enjoy drinking nectar. You can find small containers that can be hung from trees or throughout the garden that will hold the nectar, and the birds will come and enjoy its sweet taste.
Dos & Don’ts of Attracting Wild Birds
Store Bird Seed in a Cool, Dry Environment
No matter what type of birdseed you choose to use for bird-watching, remember that it needs to be kept in a cool, dry environment. If too much moisture gets into the bird seed, it can develop mold, which is harmful to birds. If you’re only using a fairly small amount of wild bird food at a time, try storing the rest in sealed plastic containers to keep the moisture out. Don’t store your bird seed for too long, and try to keep it as fresh as possible.
Never Give Birds Chocolate
Another important tip to remember is to NEVER give birds anything with chocolate in it. Chocolate is as harmful to birds as it is to dogs, if not more so. Be sure everything you give your birds is free of toxic ingredients.
Add a Bird Bath for a True Bird Sanctuary
If you want to create a welcoming environment for wild birds, consider adding a bird bath to the mix. The birds will use the bath to drink and to clean themselves, and you can turn your backyard into a real bird-watching oasis if you combine the birdbath with plenty of wild bird food.
Gain Insights From Your Neighbors
If your friends or neighbors also enjoy feeding and watching birds, ask them what bird seed ingredients they use, and place these seeds in your garden or yard accordingly. Before you know it, you will have the opportunity to watch a wide variety of beautiful birds in your very own backyard.