Food is Precious

Posted by Valeri Wade on

Easy to find food can be the key to survival. Fresh food means good health. We all know that there is less natural food in winter, but what about spring and early summer? Parents are teaching youngsters how to feed themselves and the first two weeks out of the nest are the most dangerous. A quick meal makes a stronger bird that is better able to survive.

Seed and suet are oil-rich and prone to going rancid. As seed ages, it dries out and becomes lighter. Birds pick up a seed and weigh it for freshness. If it's old, they toss it.

When you buy seed, look for vibrant colors - black oil sunflower should be dark and not gray; same with nyjer/thistle. Avoid dusty seed or bags with lots of stems. Give it the sniff test. You should notice a very light scent, not a strong odor.

Black Oil Sunflower Premium No-Grow SeedNyjer/Thistle

Most seed is harvested once a year and does not arrive in stores until fall, late October in our area. If you find bargain-priced seed it's almost always old. Birds often won't and shouldn't eat this seed. Some seed sits in storage and on the shelf for several years. Yuck! Ask the store owner if what they are selling is from the current year.

Birds aren't picky eaters. Their survival depends on getting the nutrition they need. Fresh, appropriate food gives it to them.

Make sure what you put out is appropriate for your birds. A mix filled with millet will often get thrown all over the ground because most birds don't eat it. Milo, that reddish bb-sized seed has a shell too hard to be cracked by native birds in our area. Without cardinals, a feeder full of safflower barely gets touched in the Pacific Northwest.

Remember to have a shallow, fresh water source nearby. Birds don't salivate, so they need to drink to help digest their food.

If you have doubts about what food to provide, use fresh black oil sunflower. It's the number one seed eaten by seed-eating birds that come to feeders. An oil-rich kernel in a soft, crackable shell gives birds the great nutrition they need. 

Older Post Newer Post


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published