There is a new bird feeder outside the east windows of youth services. The new feeder compliments the renovation of youth services with the green dinosaur, light house, octopus and yellow school bus. On the east wall by the windows is a bird identification chart that will help show which birds are using the feeder. Below are listed ten foods that will attract winter birds to the feeder.
Black-oil sunflower seed is the hamburger of the bird world. Almost all birds will eat black-oil sunflower seeds. Those birds that can’t crack the seed will look on the ground for bits and pieces.
Peanuts that are de-shelled, dry-roasted and unsalted are a recent trend in bird feeding. Peanut manufacturers have identified the bird-feeding market as a good place to get rid of peanut bits and rejects.
Suet is an excellent source of energy for birds in the winter. Ask the grocery store butcher for suet and use a mesh onion bag as a feeder.
Good mixed seed has a large amount of sunflower seeds, cracked corn, white proso millet and maybe some peanut hearts. You can buy the mixed seed from a specialty bird store or hardware/feed store operation.
Nyjer/thistle seed can be expensive but is a favorite of small finches-goldfinches, house, purple and Cassin’s finches, pine siskins and redpools. Special feeders are required: tube feeder with small holes or a thistle sock.
Safflower is a white, thin-shelled, conical seed that is eaten by many birds especially the northern cardinal.
Cracked corn is a favorite of sparrows, blackbirds, jay, doves, quail and squirrels. Depending on where you live you might get turkey, deer, elk, mouse and caribou. Some people use corn to lure squirrels away from the bird feeder.
Mealworms are eaten by most feeder birds except goldfinches. Mealworms are really larva of a beetle so aren’t slimy or gross. Mealworms are available at bait stores or by mail order.
Fruit is an important dietary element for birds. Set out grapes, slices of citrus fruits, apple or banana slices or even melon rinds. If you use raisins they need to be chopped and softened in warm water.
Homemade bird treats are easy to make. Smear peanut butter on a tree trunk and put peanut bits in it. Melt suet in the microwave and add peanut bits, raisins, fruit or other bird foods. Freeze in an ice cube tray and you have instant bird food.