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.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Make your yard a magnet for birds

Can you have too many feeders? My son says I’ll attract mice if I put up another feeder. ~ Mason, Michigan

The easiest way to address your son’s concern is feed only food that the birds eat so there is little or no mess left behind for the mice. Make sure you never pick up any bird seed blends with filler seeds. The biggest no, no in feeding birds is offering seed blends with milo, oats or other filler seeds that birds won't eat.

Birds kick filler seeds to the ground where they go to waste or attract unwanted rodents. Wild Birds Unlimited (WBU) sells the best and freshest seed year round formulated especially for the local mid-Michigan birds. It does not include cheap filler grains that decrease the price per pound of a blend. WBU blends actually end up costing less because there is no wasted seed and it attracts more of the birds that you want to watch.

Good Food
When it comes to wild bird food, there are lots of choices. For birds in Michigan studies indicate that Black-Oil Sunflower, Sunflower Chips, Peanuts, White Proso Millet, Safflower, or Nyjer® Thistle are among the most preferred seed types.

Tidy Food
For the East Lansing Wild Birds Unlimited store, customers’ preference by far is WBU No-Mess Blend. Our 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 make for a tidier feeding area, since there's no debris on the ground to clean up. Pound for pound, our No-Mess Blend offers the best value because you do not pay for the shells. The birds eat everything happily.

Long lasting
Seed Cylinders are also a high-fat, quick-energy food source that is specially-designed to meet your birds' hearty appetites. The Wild Birds Unlimited popular no muss, no fuss Spiral Seed Cylinder Feeder holds cylinders of tightly packed seed held together with gelatin so there is no seed spray. The whole block is completely edible. And depending on bird activity in your yard, a 2lb cylinder packed with energy rich pecans, peanuts and sunflower seeds can last days and a 4.5lb cylinder can last weeks.

Bug eating birds like Suet
If you have never fed Suet, you have missed some great neighbors. Lots of migrating warblers will stop at suet feeder as well as common year-round birds like woodpeckers, chickadees, and nuthatches. By adding Suet to your wild bird's menu, you will also attract wrens, jays, titmice, and the ever popular bluebird.

Best Suet
Not all suets are created equal. The first ingredient should always be rendered beef suet. Some people feed straight suet only. If you want to offer more protein the next ingredient should usually be peanuts or tree nuts. Never, never buy suet where milo, oats, wheat, processed grain by-products or artificial flavorings are in the ingredients. These filler ingredients are used to make a cheaper cake but the birds have to pick around and pick out all this filler to reach a little suet.

The Wild Birds Unlimited - East Lansing store's best seller is the peanut butter suet cake, which has only three ingredients: rendered beef fat, chopped peanuts and peanut butter. Again, no milo, no wheat, no corn, and no millet - no filler ingredients!

Don't forget Water
If you don’t have room for another feeder, you can always add a heated bird bath. Birds can use snow and ice as a source of water but it expends precious caloric energy to convert it to water. If there is an available source of open water, birds can conserve their energy for heat and survival during cold winters. Besides helping birds digest food properly, water helps birds keep their feathers clean and in top condition for effective insulation.

And Houses
Just like feeders, it’s best to find a house that is designed well and easy to clean. Look for homes with an easy clean out, proper ventilation, drainage holes, untreated wood, or recycled plastic houses with the proper design. Not all birdhouses are equal. Studies show the inside dimension, the shape and the diameter of the opening determine what birds it will attract. Wild Birds Unlimited - East Lansing, Michigan store always has a wide selection of functional bird houses available.

Related Articles:
- What to feed birds in the winter http://bit.ly/tfT7Ca 
- Where Do Birds Go At Night? http://bit.ly/uoQOBw 
- Help Birds Beat Their Winter Woes http://goo.gl/ZlDTw
- Are there heated birdbaths that are solar? http://bit.ly/tnTrK4

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