Friday, 13 February 2009

Food - Glorious Food

With the cold, dull snowy weather over the past few weeks the birds have not hesitated in helping themselves to the food I put out. I try to use a mixture of seed so there is something available for all the different species which visit my garden. Originally I started with a typical Wild Bird Seed Mix from a local garden centre. One problem with the large bags is that one cannot see what the mixture is and I found it contains a high proportion of cereal which the small birds ignore. It is fine for attracting pigeons. Lately I have ordered a more expensive but more suitable mix called Ultiva Mixture which goes down well with the local bird population. This has a mixture of small seed including sunflower hearts which are popular with the finches and Dunnocks. With that I mix a small amount of Bogena which is a soft mix designed for insect and berry eating birds.

Wild Bird Seed Mix (on the left) and Ultiva.
Wild Bird Mix Ultiva Mixture

Coal Tit with Sunflower seed.
Coal Tit

A high energy source is the fat balls which can come in various 'flavours'. These are popular with all varieties of tits and the flock of Starlings which descends three times a day. Also the blackbirds will feed from them if there is something suitable to stand on which is close enough for them to reach. Suet treats always go down well. Some I scatter with the seed on the bird table, some I chop up with the peanuts in the feeder.

Suet treats. The pink ones contain berry and the others have seed and insect in them.
Suet Treats

Female Blackbird at the fat balls.
Female Blackbird

I had read that small birds love millet so I bought a bag of white millet seed to mix in but my visitors simply ignore them. At the end of the day most of these seeds remain on the bird table. Of course the peanut feeder is a great favourite with most of the tit family except the Long Tailed Tits which prefer the fat balls.

The Wild Bird Mix I scatter on the ground these days, along with a small amount of the Ultiva. This attracts Greenfinches, Chaffinches and Blackbirds along with Pigeons and Collared Doves.

1 comment:

  1. I have a great problem finding a nice mix of wild bird seed John, I don't know what's wrong with the South African bird seed producers! They want to put corn and millet into everything, which nobody wants, except my chickens! So I started buying separate packs of different seeds and then mixing them in various combinations for various bird feeders and soon noticed what was most popular.

    By the way, picked up a couple of nice links in your blog list, thanks!


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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