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, January 28, 2010

Filling Up on Fatty Foods

In the beginning of the year many of us are thinking about how to lose some of those extra holiday pounds. Maybe we’ll commit to exercise more and promise ourselves to watch what we eat by cutting down on fatty foods. .

But for the birds, winter is the time when high fat foods become more critical in a bird’s diet. Every night up to three-quarters of a bird’s fat reserves are used up; reserves that must be replenished the next day. When fat reseves are depleted, protein — mostly scavenged from muscle tissue — is depleted to keep up with energy needs.

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, which can be in the form of suet cakes, tubs, plugs or stackable suet doughs.

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 or nuts include sunflower chips (429 fat calories per 100 grams), black oil sunflower (354 calories) and niger seed (342 fat calories).

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 winter. And don’t worry — your birds will not need statins from eating these fatty foods.

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