Category Archives: Bird Seed / Suets and Food

Rachel’s Wild Bird Tip of the Day

Mealworms are full of nutrition and are an excellent food for insect-eating birds such as robins, wrens, woodpeckers and bluebirds.

Mealworms can be fed to birds all year round, in very cold weather or very dry weather.

When birds struggle to find worms, insects and spiders in the ground, mealworms make a good alternative food for them.

The Birdlover’s Blend Hi-Energy Plus with Mealworms Wild Bird Seed by F.M. Browns provides wild birds with a high energy source that tastes great and gives them lots of protein. A variety of backyard birds will love this high protein and fat seed

Hot Summer and Hummingbirds

It has been a hot, dry summer across the US.  Record temperatures have been set across the country.  With the high temperatures and the lack of rainfall flower nectar production is down.  What does this mean to your hummingbirds?  It means that the bees that depend on the nectar are searching for something sweet.  Something like the nectar in your hummingbird feeder. If the bees take over your hummingbird feeder, your backyard hummingbirds will not go near the feeder.   It is easy to keep the bees away.

Make sure your feeder has insect guards to keep the bees away. The  Happy Eight-2 Hummingbird Feeder  features 8 ports with 2 complete sets of patented nectar guard tips. The patented nectar guards virtually eliminate insect contamination of the nectar while still allowing hummingbirds to feed. In addition, the bright red cap that help attracts hummingbirds  lifts from the clear snap on cover to make filling a breeze.   The cover removes easily for cleaning. The ports and nectar guards may be carefully cleaned with the included port brush. The feeder cover, cap, and basin are made of UV stabilized polycarbonate. Hanging rod is solid brass.

Mold and bacteria that are harmful to hummingbirds can grow in the nectar so it is important to change the hummingbird nectar. If the temperature is under 70 degrees, you can change the nectar once a week.  However, please see the charge below for when to change in higher tempertature:

High temperature ………… Wash the feeder and change nectar and  after

71-75………………………………….6 days

76-80…………………………………5 days

81-84…………………………………4 days

85-88………………………………..3 days

89-92………………………………..2 days

93+…………………………………..change daily



Feeding Cardinals

Cardinals need pure safflower seeds. Different birds require different seeds. You may think that the birds in your yard are eating and enjoying the particular seed you put out because the feeders are always needing to be filled.  You need to really watch your birds when they feed.Different birds require different seeds. You may notice that the birds are throwing the seeds onto the ground, not eating them.  This is especially true if the see you buy has fillers in it. Birds are notorious for dumping out the fillers. Check the ground around your feeders and you may see seed sitting on the ground.  This seed is just waiting to sprout and when it does it attracts unwanted animals like mice.

Safflower seeds are small and white; and are loaded with fat and protein.   Besides Cardinals there are many other backyard birds that enjoy safflower seeds- including  House Finches, Mourning Doves, and White-breasted Nuthatches.   Safflower seeds are not too expensive and will last longer becasue the birds will actually be eating the seeds, not kicking them to the ground.  A great plus with using the safflower seeds is that squirrels will not eat it because they find the safflower seed to bitter for them.  In addition blackbirds and grackles usully do not like the taste of safflower seeds.


Easy Way to Feed Wild Birds

What is an easy way to feed wild birds?  There are so many types of bird feeders available from the basic to the ornate.

If you are just starting to feed wild birds, you may want to start with  seed wreaths.  The seed wreaths are instant bird feeders and very convenient. They take  the hassle out of buying seeds and refilling feeders. Simply hang in your yard and watch the birds feed.  There are many types of seed wreaths in different shapes and with different seeds to attract a certain type of bird.  The Bird Lovers Blend Garden Chic Instant Feeder are available for Songbirds, Finches and Squirrels. 

Seed wreaths are available in many different shapes like a Sun Face Wild Bird Wreath or the ever popular  Seed Bell for Wild Birds.

 Some easy tips for starting to feed wild birds.

1. Try a variety of seed wreaths to see what birds are attracted.

2.  Place your bird feeders in an area that you can enjoy seeing the birds you are feeding.

3.  Offer a source of water for drinking and bathing.  All birds need water and are attracted to water.

4.  Keep feeders at least 3 feet from windows to avoid window collisions.  Remove anything that cats can hide in to avoid cats hunting the birds.

Seed wreaths make great gifts for bird lovers, too.

Can you stop thinking about insects as enemies?

We know, it’s difficult to think about the spider in your shoe as a friend, but there are alot of great things about insects – as your wild bird friends would tell you, if they could.

Let your mind wander and think about the beauty of insects – not just the butterfly!  Dragonflies are gorgeous also and bring no harm to humans.  The further south in the United States we wander, the more insect varieties seem to show up.  Insects are of course, most diverse in the tropics.

And what about the beautiful flies that attack our pets and horses in the summer?  (well, maybe they are downright ugly). Not many of us like flies because they carry a variety of disease.  But … don’t forget that many of our most attractive birds depend on flies for their diet.

As spring approaches us, remember to leave a small part of your lawn or backyard area wild to create a natural habitat for insects.  This will attract a wide variety of crawling,  flying and hopping insects that pollinate flowers, gather nectar and eat some of the more pesky bugs.

But if you really can’t stomach all those insects in the yard and the birds really do love insects, think about stocking up on Pine Tree Farms Insect Suet Cake (shown to the right).  These will really help in getting the birds back in early spring!

Your birds will thank you too!


When should I feed wild bird suet?


In the past, people fed suet only in the fall and winter, due to poor quality and misconceptions of feeding wild birds.

Winter is a good time for the beginner to start feeding because most trees are bare of foliage making the birds very visible. You are also more apt to see birds in flocks in the winter time.

The growth and popularity of summer bird feeding was to be expected. You will have constant activity on your feeders as they flit back and forth for quick snacks during their busy day.

“No Melt” Suets make it easy to attract insect eating birds to your yard in warm weather.

Year round feeding allows you to observe and enjoy wild birds when they are the most active and colorful.

Tips for Summer Bird Feeding

During the summer time, many birds enjoy eating insects, worms, and nectar from plants in addition to seed, nuts, and suet. In order to keep the birds coming to your yard, it is important to keep the food fresh and to offer more unusual and unique options for the birds.

Keeping your suet or seed fresh is very important for attracting birds throughout the summer. If you have a suet feeder, place a new suet cake in the feeder if it has been in the feeder all winter long or appears to be no longer fresh. Since food is more likely to spoil during the summer when the temperature gets hot, you may need to replace suet cakes more often. Also, if your seed looks water logged or appears moldy, dump the old seed out, clean the feeder, and fill the feeder with fresh, new seed.

Summer is a great time to provide birds with a special treat or food. Offering birds a variety of nuts for a special treat is sure to attract birds to your yard. Birds love to eat peanuts, walnuts, pecans and more. You may also want to mix a variety of nuts together and fill a birdfeeder up with the nut mixture. The Audubon 3-in-1 Platform Bird Feeder is great for feeding birds a variety nuts. If the nuts are very large, you may want to chop them up first.

Another special treat that birds love to eat is fresh fruit. Fresh fruit is ideal for attracting orioles, tanagers, and rose-breasted Grosbeaks. Place a variety of fruit on a tray feeder or on a fruit hanger. Birds enjoy eating oranges, apples, cherries, raisins and more and are sure to keep coming back for more throughout the summer.

Birds enjoy the variety of nuts, seeds, and fruits when offered in the summer. By providing birds with these special foods, you are sure to attract a variety birds all summer long.

Need a Cheap Way to Attract Birds? Feed Them Seeds!

The most economical way to feed birds is to give them bird seed!  All varieties of birds like bird seed.  Here are the different types of bird seed that you can feed your backyard birds:

  • Sunflower seeds:  This type of seed is the most common among birds and its no surprise why:  they contain as much protein as ground beef!  However, many people avoid providing their backyard birds with sunflower seeds because the shells can pile up in their backyard very quickly.  There are 3 types of sunflower seeds: black oil, black striped, and gray striped.  All are very healthy, but the largest variety of birds will flock to black oil sunflower seeds.  Try the Kaytee Black Oil Sunflower Bird Seed.
  • Small seeds:  Birds that like small seeds usually like white proso millet or niger seed.  However, these seeds can be very expensive, and usually attract a very specific breed of bird.  For example, goldfinches are drawn to niger seed.  If you want to provide white millet for small birds, try the White Millet for Wild Birds – 50 lbs.
  • Commercial birdseed mixtures:  The cheapest and easiest way to attract birds to your backyard is to provide them with commercial birdseed mixtures.  Commercial birdseed mixtures are great because they offer a variety of seeds to birds, meaning that there is a high chance that at least one of the seeds in the mixture will be appealing to every bird.  The negative aspect to commercial birdseed mixtures is that many birds will toss away the seeds they do want, meaning that many seeds will gather on the ground.  Your best bet is to pick a commercial birdseed mixture with sunflower seeds, since almost every bird loves sunflower seeds!  I would recommend buying the Bird Lovers Blend Best Blend 7 lbs.  It has 28% sunflower seeds (of both black oil and striped seed).

Once you have the bird seed, you will need a feeder to put it in.  I love the Birdscapes Garden Sip and Seed Feeder, pictured above.  One side of this feeder can be filled with 1.15 lbs of seed, and the other can be filled with 27 ounces of water.  This is a perfect one-stop shop for birds!  The Birdscapes Garden Sip and Seed Feeder is attractive to a variety of birds.

The Logic Behind Placing Bird Feeding Stations in Your Backyard

The way you place bird feeding stations in your backyard can affect how many birds visit your backyard.  A logical placement of bird feeders can also attract a variety of birds.  Here are a few suggestions for proper placement of bird feeders:

• You should have multiple “stations” placed around your yard.  Each station should consist of 3 or 4 bird feeders grouped closely together.  Choose a variety of bird feeders, to attend to a variety of birds.  The stations should be spread apart by about 50 feet.  The key to attracting a variety of birds is to put different types of bird seed in each feeder.  Also, be sure to include a few suet feeders (at least one) for the birds who eat insects. The suet I have in my backyard is the Large Ranch Suet Cedar Bird Feeder, shown to the right, which holds two suet cakes on each side.  The cages are made of anodized aluminum for durability.

• Make sure feeding stations are close to shelter.  Many birds will not stay long at a feeder; they will visit the feeder and then quickly fly to the safety of a nearby tree or bush.  This is because birds are vulnerable to predators when they are visiting feeding stations.

• Especially during the winter, be sure your bird feeders are not susceptible to high winds.  Not only do winds scatter seeds, but they also cause the feeder to sway so erractically that birds will not be able to visit them!  Large trees and shrubs usually provide shelter from the wind, so these are good areas to put feeders in the winter.

• Some birds are ground feeding birds (like sparrows and doves), so be sure to spread some cracked corn or millet around your yard.  Birds love the Songblend Cracked Corn Bird  Seed 4 lb bag.  Spread the food around in spots that are not right in the open.  The middle of your lawn is not a good idea.  Good areas would be under a picnic table, where there is moderate shelter.  Do NOT leave food under shrubs, because cats can hide there!

Birds like predictability in their food sources.  Once you find areas that seem to attract a large variety of birds, keep your feeders in these spots!  Also, be sure they are always filled with food.

RachelsRobin Christmas / New Year Jingle for you!

‘Twas the days surrounding Christmas and all ’round your yard,
the birds were all hungry while you wrote out your cards….
Your feeders were hung in the blustery space,
for no little bird has energy to waste….

In the hustle and bustle of the holiday cheer …
the feeders went empty – Oh Dear, Oh Dear.

So stop by the store, this week full of cheer,
we’ll extend a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Stop by the store this month and share a bit of the holiday season with us – and we’ll share a bit of savings with you –

Happy Holidays!