Birds Liven Up The Landscape
By Jos Van Hage
Saturday, December 03, 2011 03:45 AM
Our family has always enjoyed feeding the birds at home. It is an easy, inexpensive way to attract birds to the yard, and is a hobby that does not require a lot of time but can give back hours of enjoyment.
By feeding the birds you are helping the birds out by supplying them with food that becomes harder to find for the birds over the winter months and in return the birds offer you entertainment.
Winter can be hard for birds with dwindling food sources and cold temperatures as they need to keep up their body temperatures. A bird’s survival is dependant on being able to eat enough food to convert into energy which produces the necessary heat. So, by providing high fat foods for quick energy to keep the birds active and warm you are helping them survive the winter.
There are various types of feeders and feed available and by having an assortment of both you will attract a large variety of birds. Sunflower seeds are a popular bird food. There are the striped seeds and then the black oiled sunflower seeds. The black oiled sunflower seeds are smaller sized then the striped seeds making them easier to eat for smaller birds such as Chickadees. Black oiled seeds are high in protein and the oil from the seeds have a high fat and contain twice as many calories as the striped sunflower seeds.
You can also purchase the Sunflower Kernels which are the shelled sunflowers and these are attractive to small birds and have less waste. Peanuts, nuts, and Niger seed are also all high energy foods for birds.
Suet is also a favourite food around the bird feeders. Suet provides high amounts of energy and is good for birds that are not attracted to seeds.
Purchase a high quality bird food that does not contain a lot of fillers because you want the birds to eat all of the food and get the high energy that they need. Store unused food in a dry, cool place.
There are different types of feeders for different types of food that attract different birds. At the garden centre we are carrying a line of Bird feeders from 'Green Solutions' that are made up with 98% recycled plastics. These eco friendly feeders are easy to clean as they are dishwasher safe. Keeping bird feeders clean is important because dirty feeders can make birds sick just like us if we were to eat from dirty dishes. Decaying food can grow mould which produces toxins. Also with so many birds coming to the feeder there is a chance of disease which you don't want to have spread. It is a good idea to clean the feeder often and then at the end of the season take the feeder apart and give it a thorough cleaning.
Continue to feed the birds throughout the winter months as they will come to rely on it.
Birds are a welcome friend to any backyard as they add life to the landscape with their constant chatter. For added interest, have a pair of binoculars and a bird book near by so you can start to identify the different species that come to visit!
Jos Van Hage owns and operates two Art Knapp Garden Centres in Prince George;
- Highway 16 west at Kimball Road
- Highway 97 North at Northwood Pulpmill Road
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