The National Wildlife Federation did a study on which foods attract the most birds and keep them the healthiest. They found:
|No-mess seed cylinder|
A backyard feeder is an especially efficient place to forage because it mimics what scientists call a “resource patch,” a cluster of food much like a fruit-laden tree. But don’t worry that birds will become too dependent on your feeders. Evolutionary pressures encourage birds to sample a wide variety of foods.
Birds are remarkably proficient at assessing potential food items for nutritional content and quality. Fresh sunflower seed, peanuts, white proso millet, safflower, Nyjer thistle seed and high quality suets are some of the best choices. Low-quality foods are discarded on the ground and may be avoided.
The study emphasizes that for birds, eating is not only about nutrition but about consuming a lot of food very quickly while avoiding predators. This makes the easy to eat, already shelled no-mess blend, very attractive to the birds.
No shells on the seeds makes the no-mess blend attractive to me too, since there's no debris or weeds on the ground to clean up. Pound for pound, this blend offers the best value. There is about twice as much seed in the bag because you are not buying shells. This means it take the birds twice as long to go through a bag of seed but the birds eat everything.
- Common winter birds in Michigan and their food preference: http://bit.ly/yp9YQA
- How to choose the best suet cake http://bit.ly/xATYPQ
- How to have more colorful birds at your feeder http://bit.ly/qizlNh
- How to winterize your bird feeding station http://bit.ly/xucuF8
- Why do Birds Scatter Seeds from Feeders? http://bit.ly/vZ6gzM
- Choosing a seed blend to feed wild birds http://goo.gl/5FpPr7