About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Monday, April 26, 2010

What is the Best Seed to Feed Birds in the Summer?

Best Bird SeedFor seed eating birds in Michigan studies indicate that Black-Oil Sunflower, Fine and Medium Sunflower Chips, Peanuts, White Proso Millet, Safflower, and Nyjer® Thistle are among the most preferred seed types. At the East Lansing Wild Birds Unlimited store, customers’ and birds’ preference by far is WBU No-Mess Blend.

No-Mess BenefitsOur unique No-Mess Blend features seeds that have had their shells removed so only the meat of the seed is left. No hulls on the seeds means no hulls on the ground and the seed won’t sprout either.

Price of No-Mess
Pound for pound, our No-Mess Blend offers the best value because you do not pay for the shells. The birds eat everything. One 20# bag of No-Mess contains at least twice as much seed as a bag with shells.

Unique Wild Birds Unlimited Seed Blends
Besides the No-mess we have several other blends that are regionally formulated to attract the birds that live in our area. We do not include cheap filler grains like oats, wheat and milo that decrease the price per pound of a mix and aren't eaten by the birds in Michigan. Wild Birds Unlimited blends actually end up costing less to use while attracting more of the birds that you want to watch.

Seed Freshness
Seed comes in every Tuesday. If you come early enough you can watch me load tons of seed into the store. And if you want to buy bags of seed right off the pallets, you are very welcome.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your seed is great but I do find that in the summer the birds are attracted more to my bird baths...especially the bluebirds. I do wonder though why I have never seen the cardinals in the bird baths...just at the feeders.

Wild Birds Unlimited Mid-Michigan said...

Bird feeders are for your entertainment mainly. Most birds prefer to forage for food naturally, but it’s a treat for us when birds visit our feeders and baths and bring a little excitement to the yard.

Lots of birds that winter in areas where the weather is harsh will switch their diet from invertebrates in the summer to a plant based diet in the winter. Bluebirds are bug eaters that switch over to suet, fruit, nuts, and berries in the winter. A bluebird that visits a seed feeder in the winter is much more likely to visit a mealworm feeder or hunt for bugs in the summer.

Water is just as important as food for birds in the summer as well as the winter. All birds drink, but some birds visit baths more often than others. Cardinals can get a lot of liquid through their food and might not drink at baths as often as other birds. Nice juicy bugs, berries and fruit may require the cardinal to make fewer stops at the bath.

When they do drink, they scoop water up with their bill from tiny pools in the branches of trees, puddles, streams, ponds and even bird baths when needed.

My cardinals seem to prefer a shallow bath. I have a short 10 inch bath that needs to be filled every day but seems to attract a lot of attention from a variety of birds. Then I also have a larger bath that attracts the bathers.

American Robins, Eastern Bluebirds and other birds in the thrush family all seem to frolic in the water more than other backyard birds. They may bathe more to remove excessive oil from their feathers. Most birds have a preen gland or uropygial gland at the base of the tail. With their beak, birds realign the barbs correctly, remove any dirt or parasites and sometimes apply preen oil. Robins and bluebirds seem to produce more preen oil than other birds.

Fluffy feathers provide proper insulation against bitter winds. Too much oil on the feathers can cause the feathers clump and lower the body temperature to dangerous levels. Most birds have one main molt a year, so birds have to maintain their feathers carefully for a year until they go through another molt.

Thank you for your nice comment. Sarah