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Better seed and birds equal better value

Posted July 02, 2014 in Advice Column, Ames

Birds have preferences for the seeds they prefer and where they typically feed — on the ground, at an elevated feeder or both. Seeds that birds typically eat include sunflower, safflower, peanuts, white millet and cracked corn. They do not eat cereal grains and fillers such as milo, wheat, oats, barley, flax or canola.

A seed blend is a great way to feed a variety of birds, especially if you have just one or a few feeders. However, make sure the blend contains seeds preferred by the birds you want to attract and doesn’t contain fillers that typically end up on the ground. It’s not unusual for blends found in grocery, hardware or big box stores to contain 50-75 percent filler. Seeming inexpensive, they may really cost you twice as much or more, end up on the ground and not attract the birds you want.

Specialty stores carry no-waste seed blends that are 100 percent edible seed exclusively formulated for the birds in their area. They can help you select the appropriate food(s) for your feeder(s) and you will get a better value for your dollar as you only pay for fresh seed to attract the birds you want.

Information provided Linda L. Thomas, owner, Wild Birds Unlimited, 213 Duff Ave., Ames, (515) 956-3145.

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