First of a Series
When we first became interested in drawing birds to our backyard, we knew nothing about birdseed other than they sold bags of it at Home Depot and Wal-Mart. If you already know that different types of seeds attract different varieties of birds, you’re way ahead of us when we started.
Frankly, our first bag of bird seed attracted more squirrels than we ever imagined lived in our neighborhood. As a point of reference, squirrels will eat virtually everything in sight and they have terrible table manners. They’ll try your patience early-on.
And they’re very resourceful. And can climb almost anything unless you give it a good dose of WD-40. (Try it on any metal pole. It works.)
Over the next several posts, we’ll discuss which types of seeds attract various species. We’ll finish with a chart of the birds and their seed preferences.
But we’ll start with some general information.
(Yes, this is more complicated than we ever imagined, but we’ll try to make it easy for you to understand.)
Don’t use seed like bait.
As we mentioned earlier, birds of different species have different birdseed preferences that are dictated by the shape of their bill and their nutritional needs.
Therefore, there’s an urge to select seeds for a specific species you’re hoping to draw to your yard. Let’s say you love cardinals or blue jays, for example. But all you see near your home are small brown birds that you identify as house finches.
Putting out seed that will attract cardinals or blue jays, may prove disappointing.
A better idea is to choose a birdseed for the birds you already see in your neighborhood, in this case, the finches.
Birds are always on the lookout for food and when they see feeding activity, they’ll investigate. So, by choosing seed for the birds you know are nearby, their feeding activity will soon attract other bird species . . . hopefully, including the ones you’d love to watch in the morning over coffee.
As other species join the activity in your yard, you can add other seeds and feeders to accommodate your new guests. Before you know it, you’ll have a full menu . . . an all-you-can eat outdoor café for all kinds of birds.