Some of us, (*cough* gardeners), merely endure winter, counting the days till spring. Guilty as charged, even in this blog. No leaves, no grass, no flowers. When will it end? Yes, I too was an avowed winter hater until I began to feed the birds in my backyard. Winter—and the garden—was suddenly full of life. Bird life is so enjoyable, I don’t even mind trudging out bright and early to fill the feeders. The soft flutter of a chickadee wing whizzing past your ear is a sound everyone should hear at least once. A simple bird feeder filled with black oil sunflower seed will bring many species: chickadees, cardinals, bluejays. Find a spot in your yard where you can watch from a window, and hang a feeder. You’ll have live entertainment with your morning coffee.
Chickadees, the birds that are the most tolerant of humans, will eat out of your hand. A good activity (or should I say non-activity) for kids: Get them to stay motionless while holding out seed in a mittened hand. It’s such a thrill when one alights to pick up a seed. A thrill for grownups too.
Black oil sunflower seed is the best all purpose seed for most birds. (the solid black seeds, not the stripey ones) It packs the highest nutritional punch. There are also mixes, tailored for certain birds’ taste buds. You want to get a good quality mix, without a lot of cheap filler that birds don’t like and won’t eat anyway.
Fiesta Gardens has moved all our bird seed supply into the grocery store. We carry different blends with a high quality mix of seed from Mill Creek Wild Bird Seed. Their Garden Friendly Blend:
contains only food so there is no waste or debris on the ground and anything that does drop to the ground gets eaten. . Additionally there will be a garden pay off later in the spring since this blend will not germinate; thus no weeds !
Mill Creek has done their research, and know a meadow bird from a forest bird, who like different things. They tailor their mixes for birds’ seasonal and environmental requirements. They also have a special mix for City Birds:
Seasons Urban Bird is the most nutritionally perfect formula made for city birds in the world. This means that your birds will have higher protein in the spring and summer for muscle growth in young birds. In the colder months, we provide higher carbohydrates so birds can generate warmth. Calcium is added during egg production seasons and grit is added during months where grit is difficult or dangerous to find.
Their bags are also oxy-degradable. Mill Creek blends have healthy food for every bird. Their squirrel proof bird seed is even a special blend without hot pepper, a kinder and gentler seed.