Wild Bird FeedingBy
The diet of wild bird is quite diversified – as diversified as the number of species of wild birds. Wild birds eat a variety of vegetables, fruit, insects and worms. However, seeds are, by far, the most eaten. Thankfully, for those interested in enticing birds to their yards, seeds are, also, the easiest to provide and the most effective nutrition one can provide for wild birds. It is recommended that high quality seed is provided regularly for wild birds, especially through the winter months. It should, then, be supplemented with overripe fruit and vegetables as your budget allows. As the cold weather sets in and the need for calorie intake for birds increases, it becomes more difficult to get find the food necessary.
Seed can be strewn on the ground or set along porch railings. However, this approach does not keep seed dry or out of reach of squirrels and other scavengers. To meet the needs of a variety of wild birds effectively, one should install a variety of bird feeders at different heights.
Tube feeders have openings up and down the tube while hopper feeders are bins that hold seeds that have fallen while birds feed. Both make good feeders for sunflower seeds. Tube feeders will accommodate goldfinches and chickadees while hoppers will accommodate larger birds such as grackles, starlings and blue jays. Bowl feeders are hanging feeders that are covered to keep out the elements. Suet feeders protect food within a wire mesh.
A non-toxic cleaner should be used for cleaning bird feeders regularly. When temperatures are above freezing, 1/4 of bleach can be used with two gallons of water to disinfect feeders. After disinfecting, the feeder should be thoroughly rinsed and dried before refilling.
Wild birds have been caring for themselves for millions of years. They have, seldom, gone hungry. However, the food provided by humans, can, indeed, be more nourishing which can help to make the lives of these feathered creatures healthier and happier.
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