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, September 16, 2013

Why are the birds so hungry in the fall?

As many of you have noticed, birds have been attacking the feeders like there is no tomorrow. And there won't be if they don't bulk up now to prepare for a harsh Michigan winter or a long journey south. Birds change into a “superbird” state when their internal clock is triggered by shorter days and cooler weather at the end of summer.

Right now a bird needs to increase its fat reserves by as much as 1-10% per day. This feeding frenzy is called hyperphagia. In human terms, this would mean I would have to gain 12 pounds per day. That gives "eats like a bird" a whole new meaning. But remember that their fat increase is vital for the extreme energy required to survive the coming months.

Keeping your feeders filled with high energy, high fat foods can provide your birds with the critical nutrition they need to survive. High on the list of best choices to meet this nutritional need is suet.

Seeds also provide fats, but in varying degrees. High on the list are peanuts, which provide 412 fat calories per 100 grams. Other high fat seeds include sunflower chips (429 fat calories per 100 grams) and nyjer (thistle) seed (342 fat calories).

Wild Birds Unlimited is dedicated to offering fresh, top-quality seed. Our no-waste bird seed blends are made from 100% edible seed and have been exclusively formulated for the feeding preferences of our local birds. No cereal fillers—just fresh, high-quality seed your birds will love.
 
Our most popular Wild Birds Unlimited seed blends are No Mess and Choice Blend because they are filled with many of these high fat seeds and nuts making them ideal foods, along with suet, to offer your birds this fall.

Source:
Zoological Society of Milwaukee Bird Migration Facts by Kerry Scanlan, Vicki Piaskowski, Michelle Jacobi and Steve Mahler 

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