Last Monday was the Sturbridge Christmas Bird Count (I’ll post those results soon). In addition to counting the hundreds of ducks on Hamilton Reservoir (in my hometown of Holland), I make a point to count all of the birds visiting the many feeders that are along my route. I note who’s been naughty*, not filling their feeders. I also note those of you who’ve been nice, filling your feeders with black-oil sunflower seed.
Then there are those of you who use that mixed seed. Your heart is in the right place, but you’re not saving any money. A feeder full of black-oil sunflower seed is like putting a dish of Hershey’s kisses out for your co-workers. Around here, those kisses are gone in no time.
Keep in mind that bird seed is sold by weight. All that other stuff, like millet and flax, is filler. The birds aren’t eating it; they are picking through the feeder to get to the sunflower seeds and tossing the rest on the ground. Do you want to offer only the best for our feathered friends? Black-oil sunflower seed is the key. Couple that with some suet, a source of water and a nearby evergreen to take cover in, and you’re going to have a perfect feeding station!
*This year, you are forgiven. I can totally understand why you would stop filling your feeder: Gray Squirrels are doing very, very well.