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Time To Fill The Bird Feeders…But With What?

Gary Freeman/TSM

Spring is a great time to start thinking about what to fill your bird feeders, but with what? In making that decision, it all depends on what exactly you are trying to attract. Hummingbirds? Northern Flickers? Gold Finches? or a common House Sparrow?

Over the weekend I took the time to fill my bird feeder. Nothing too fancy, but it gets the job done. I have found that one of the best bird seed to buy is simply black oil sunflower seeds. In many of the “seed bags” you find in the store, these are the best. I choose the seeds because the shells are thinner and easier for birds to crack open. The other sunflower seeds, the common striped ones, which will work too, but are thicker shelled.

One of the things you must be aware of is what they call “filler bird feed.” These bags of seed contain filler foods like Milo which will find their way pitched to the ground under your feeder as birds don’t care for it. When purchasing a bag of seed, be careful to watch out for the filler…as its seemingly a waste of time, money and resources.

If you want to attract Orioles on their migratory routes, I would suggest Orange and Apple halves, and if you want to attract Gold Finches, I would suggest Thistle in a Thistle sock. If you have squirrels and are concerned about them raiding your bird feeders the answer is simple. Set up their own pad with corn and nuts. That will keep them occupied for awhile.

Have fun feeding and watching the birds in your yard. I enjoy watching them from my window with my daughter. Happy Birding!

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