Post by SpringRain on May 15, 2016 13:37:12 GMT -5
This isn't really the bird section, but I see that Lat earlier created a thread about birds, and I often follow the path of a master....so here's my bird question!
My father is currently in a rehab facility post hospitalization, and lo and behold there's a bird feeder right outside his window! Yesterday he saw a robin and a few others birds flit by. (This morning there was snow!)
I'm going to get some bird feed to fill the feeder so he can watch the avian fly-bys. I've never bought bird feed; they seem to be abundant and have found their own feed in my yard. Rather than googling for best seed varieties, I'd rather rely on the pros.
So what would be the best kind of seed to buy to attract a variety of birds? Songbirds like cardinals would be especially desirable. It would be a nice way to wake up and prepare for therapy.
The area of the feeder is grass, but perhaps 20 - 25' away from the feeder is a grassy, somewhat weedy steep slope with some small trees and tall grasses. At the top of the perhaps 15' high slope is a forest, where staff have told me that deer are sometimes seen. I've also been told they sometimes come down closer to the rehab facility. Imagine waking up after a strenuous PT workout and finding a deer outside your window - wouldn't that be wonderful nature therapy?
The North and part of the West sides of the rehab facility are bordered by the forest. South and East are bordered by roads and a Kroger's. I'm guessing most of the birds dwell along or in the North and West areas, although I've frequently seen birds nesting in grocery store overhangs in very well traveled areas.
I only ever feed black oil sunflower seeds. Most birds seem to like it, including cardinals. The mixed bird seed seem cheaper but it has lots of filler seeds usually. If you see seed with the large round red millet, don't buy that because the birds don't eat it and it just gets thrown on the ground.
We had a feeder outside of my MIL's room at the nursing home and she loved it. Good luck to your Dad.
I'd agree with the general recommendation of black oil sunflower, but I'd also think might be a good idea to check in to a wild birds unlimited store or I think there's another similar franchise whose name escapes me at the moment. They have some good mixes at a price of course and I know the local one here has a no mess blend of mostly hulled seeds if that's a concern. I think I read a study somewhere that a mix of majority black oil sunflower, some white proso millet and larger striped sunflower was supposedly the best. The millet seems to attract doves and some other ground types (different towhees here) whilst the black oil sunflower is very popular with the finches. I'd love to have some cardinals but do have some very nice black headed grosbeaks visiting at the moment.
Don't know if you have them or could put up a feeder to augment the one at the facility but theres always the hummingbirds and orioles, a simple sugar water feeder works for both or at least the hummingbirds seem to take advantage of the oriole feeder here at least.
For the past three years we've used Safflower seed almost exclusively, except for suet balls in winter. The Safflower attracts Cardinals, Finches of all kinds and colours and best of all, is unpalatable to Squirrels. It is expensive compared to other bird seed but it can get very expensive trying to feed birds while squirrels are gorging themselves. So it works out.
Oh, and last summer we had a Rosebreasted Grosbeak in our feeder for a day. Just passing through I expect, but he seemed to enjoy it.
we had a Rosebreasted Grosbeak in our feeder for a day.
I absolutely love those birds and have only ever seen them twice in my life. In addition to our home in Southeastern PA we also have a cabin in the woods in Western PA and of course I have a bird feeder there. 2 weeks ago I woke up on Sunday morning and saw a bird I had never seen before feasting on the sunflower seed. It turned out to be a female Rose Breasted Grosbeak. They don't have the deep pink color so it was not as pretty but hopefully she will bring her boyfriend this weekend when we are up there for 3 days.
I did get a brief glimpse of him as we were walking in the woods earlier in the day. I just hope that she tells him about the free seeds up at the cabin and he comes to visit!
I lived in a rented farmhouse in Southeastern PA in the late 1970's and I used to get Evening Grosbeaks at my feeders. I have never seen one since then but they were spectacular and I used to see lots of them. I am wondering if they also live in the woods at the cabin.
I absolutely love those birds and have only ever seen them twice in my life
The first time I saw a Rose Breasted Grosbeak was when we were tent camping at Pike's Peak state park in northeast Iowa, on the Mississippi. We saw the male feeding mulberries to the female. We are easily entertained.
Gardening like I'm gonna live forever, right here in central Iowa. Posting since 2008.
We were at our cabin this weekend and hardly any birds were at the feeders but then on Saturday morning a male Rose Breasted Grosbeak came to the feeder. He didn't stay long but he was really beautiful. I hope that he becomes a frequent visitor!