First Czechoslovak Garden Club of America

First Czechoslovak Garden Club of America

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April 2014 Speaker - Bird Feeders

Posted by First Czech Garden Club on June 29, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Ron Zick from Birds Unlimited spoke to us about Bird Feeders and Bird Feed

Bird Feed

The best feed for birds contains high energy and high fat content seeds.  Birds use a lot of energy and hhave a very high metabolism.  Sunflower, Safflower, and Peanuts are good.  Most commercial bird feed contains Milo wheat and barley.  It is also a better bargain to get shelless seeds as 30% of the content could be shells.  Birds will sort through the seeds and throw what they don't like on the groundThis is why Most feeders end up with a lot of seeds and unwanted growth under them. 

If you want to attract specific birds you have to place specific items in your feeder.  Goldfinch love Niger Thistle.  They are very finicky about it.  They don't like it too old or too wet.  Woodpeckers love suet, especially suet with hot peppers in it.  Woodpeckers are distant relatives of parrots.  Parrot's diets in the wild contain a lot of peppers.  Hummingbirds like sugarwater in a 1:4 ratio.  They also like the color Red.  Don't put food coloring in the sugarwater just put the mixture in a red container.  Don't worry if ants get in the sugarwater.  The Hummingbirds will eat them too!  Baltimore Orioles enjoy Oranges and Grape jelly.  No other flavor of jelly attracts them as much as grape.

Bird Feeders   

It is best to use a Mesh feeder as they trap less moisture.  Feeders should be cleaned out at least 3 times a year.   Tube Feeders with a tray attract more bird types.  The different holes allow more birds to get at the feeder in the way they like to feed and without bumping into each other.  Some birds are very territorial and will not allow another bird of their species to feed at the same time.  It is important - though difficult - to Squirrel Proof your feeder.  Place the feeder on a pole  with a baffle so squirrels cannot climb up the pole.  Keep the pole far enough away from trees, fences, wires, etc so they cannot jump on to the feeder.  Squirrels can jump about 12 feet.

Woodpeckers like the Suet feeders where you place ablock of suet inside them.  They then peck it out.  Getting the suet with peppers distracts other birds and squirrels.  The Baltimore Oriole feeder has spokes on the side for the orange and a small cup on the bottom for the jelly


Categories: Meeting Speakers

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