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Bird Seed Alternatives

Posted by Extra_Girl | Added on : July 04, 2010 10:31am | Last edited: July 04, 2010 10:33am | Viewed 1693 times | 0 Comments

 

Try the following alternatives to bird seed:

 

Every feeder bird will eat peanut butter, especially woodpeckers, chickadees, and titmice. But it's not a food that you want to offer in great quantities, for two reasons. First of all, peanut butter is sticky and messy, so, it should be offered in a way that birds will not get it all over their feathers. Second, although it may be a myth that peanut butter sticks to the roof of a bird's bill, it's not inconceivable that a big wad of sticky peanut butter could be difficult to swallow. For these reasons, offer peanut butter in very small quantities when the weather is very cold. At other times of year offer peanut butter as an ingredient in bird pudding. You can make a simple peanut butter feeder by drilling shallow one-inch holes in a piece of scrap wood, filling them with peanut butter, and hanging it up near your feeders. Gouge out a few toeholds underneath each hole to help the birds cling. If the food goes unrecognized, try sticking a few sunflower hearts in the peanut butter-the birds will soon get the idea.

 

Suet is the dense white fat that collects around beef kidneys and loins. You'll find it in grocery store meat counters. It's amazing how many different species eat suet. All the regular seed eaters--chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, woodpeckers--will eat it, as will wrens, sapsuckers, warblers, orioles, catbirds, creepers, and others. A little suet goes a long way. Avoid feeding lard-based foods to birds during the warm spring and summer months, when they can find ample and natural sources of nourishment themselves. Birds that gorge on suet and other lard-based recipes run the risk of developing gout. Suet is best served during the winter months, and especially during harsh weather conditions.

 

Many people take convenience a step farther and buy commercial suet cakes. Some of these blocks are great; some are not so great. Avoid commercial blocks that have whole seed, like sunflower and millet seed, melted into them with the shells on. These slippery fat-covered seeds are difficult for birds to crack, so they may just be discarded. If you buy cakes, buy those with easily edible ingredients like peanut hearts, sunflower hearts, chopped raisins, insect parts, or cornmeal.

 

Notice how some birds eat the last shriveled apples and pears in the garden. Halved apples impaled on short twigs of the dead branches can be put up all around the feeder. You can offer raisins and currants. but these need to be chopped up and soaked in hot water to soften them. Mockingbirds, catbirds, wrens, andthrashers appreciate these most, although bluebirds and other thrusheswill sometimes take them, too. Save halved oranges and fruits such as cherries, peaches, bananas, and berries for spring and summer, when the orioles and tanagers that prefer them have returned from the tropics.

 

The ideas above are just suggestions. Don't be afraid to try new foods and feeder ideas on your feeding station visitors.

 

 

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