Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Inthehollow

new to birds?

13 posts in this topic

I am new to feeding birds I am in the country near a river just wondering what type of bird seed to use during the diferent seasons beeing close to the river and the woods there are a lot of different birds so far thanks Bret

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Bret:

If you offer black oil sunflower seed, a nectar feeder for hummingbirds, and a suet feeder, you'll have all you need to attract the huge majority of birds that come to feeders. In spring and fall you can also scatter cracked corn along the ground near your feeders, and that will be very attractive to migrating sparrow species and their allies, most of which like to feed on the ground and do love their cracked corn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Bret, you can also feed peanut pieces that will draw Blue Jays, Nut Hatches, and Cardinals. If your young enough you can plant natural bird food. Like Prarrie Fire Crabapple, Choke Cherry, and any kind of pine or cedar trees. Just remember if you start to feed birds in the winter don't stop until the snow is all gone where they can find thier own food. They are depending on you. You'll get alot of pleasure watching these beautiful and comical feathered friends.

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Add a hackberry to your list of plantings. They really draw the warblers at my house for some reason. Must be home to some delicious insects in the spring, plus berries in the fall. Leave some of the volunteer forest and river plants if you can. I have one that grows rather fern or palm-like with blue berries that kept a pair of black-throated blue warblers hanging around the yard for almost two weeks last fall. They attracted some local birders, as this is out of territory and they certainly entertained me all that time--right outside my kitchen window. Let the virginia creeper go if you can. You'll have an amazing number of warblers when they berry. You just have to keep an eye on it, or it will choke off your trees and shrubs. You might want to have an area of mulch and leaves that drains well but that you do not have to keep manicured in the spring and fall. It draws the migrant sparrows(foxes, white throated, white crowned and Harris') juncos, various thrushes, brown thrashers, and oven birds. They love poking and jumping backwards through the leaves. The biggest piece of advice, though, is to keep your feeders washed, even rinsed in bleach water, and the food fresh, as you do not want your new buddies getting sick before your eyes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

there's some good info at this site...

http://library.fws.gov/Bird_Publications/feed.html

Quote:
TUBE FEEDER WITH BLACK OIL SUNFLOWER

goldfinches chickadees

woodpeckers nuthatches

titmice redpolls, pine siskins

ADDING A TRAY TO THE TUBE FEEDER WILL ALSO ATTRACT

cardinals jays

crossbills purple finches

white-throated sparrow house finches

white-crowned sparrows

TRAY OR PLATFORM FEEDER -- WITH MILLET

doves house sparrows

blackbirds juncos

cowbirds towhees

white-throated sparrows tree sparrows

white-crowned sparrows chipping sparrows

TRAY OR PLATFORM FEEDER -- WITH CORN

starlings house sparrows

grackles jays

juncos bobwhite quail

doves ring-necked pheasants

white-throated sparrows

PLATFORM FEEDER OR TUBE FEEDER AND TRAY -- with PEANUTS

cardinals chickadees

grackles house finches

titmice house sparrows

sparrows starlings

mourning doves white-throated sparrows

jays juncos

NIGER THISTLE FEEDER WITH TRAY

goldfinches house finches

purple finches redpolls

pine siskins doves

chickadees song sparrows

dark-eyed juncos white-throated sparrows

NECTAR FEEDER

hummingbirds orioles

cardinals tanagers

woodpeckers finches

thrushes

FRUIT

orioles tanagers

mockingbirds bluebirds

thrashers cardinals

woodpeckers jays

starlings thrushes

cedar waxwings yellow-breasted chats

HANGING SUET FEEDER

woodpeckers wrens

chickadees nuthatches

kinglets thrashers

creepers cardinals

starlings

PEANUT BUTTER SUET

woodpeckers goldfinches

juncos cardinals

thrushes jays

kinglets bluebirds

wrens starlings

HANGING PEANUT FEEDER

woodpeckers

chickadees

titmice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Steve on the sunflower seeds, suet feeder and a nectar feeder for hummingbirds(and orioles) but I also think a thistle feeder brings many more extras, especially Gold and house finches along with redpolls.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Steve on the sunflower seeds, suet feeder and a nectar feeder for hummingbirds(and orioles) but I also think a thistle feeder brings many more extras, especially Gold and house finches along with redpolls.

I was offering a shortcut based on experience. After 35 years of feeding birds and putting out all types of seed, I've winnowed down my offerings to what I originally posted (black oil sunflower, cracked corn, suet and nectar), and those foods have brought in all the species already mentioned (including those in B.Amish's list that have occurred within my geographic area.) There's no doubt that some species prefer thistle/niger or peanuts or other foods, but the ones I've mentioned bring them all in.

You can put out a bigger variety of bird seed/food, but you're basically just spending money you don't need to spend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One important basic that we have forgotten to mention--water! Even with the river handy (and it does attract the birds) the birds still love to come to the bird bath for drinks, both winter and summer. They also love to bathe which can make for some delightful bird watching and photography. If at all possible offer some kind of moving water, either a small fountain in a pond or a dripper in the bath. I have a tiny pond. It is a nuisance to keep up (especially if you try to keep koi alive in the basement over winter)but you can't beat it for bird attraction. Particularly warbler migrants, doves and cat birds. My grandson and I started pumping it out and scrubbing it yesterday (yuck what a mess)before the migration really starts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Steve on the sunflower seeds, suet feeder and a nectar feeder for hummingbirds(and orioles) but I also think a thistle feeder brings many more extras, especially Gold and house finches along with redpolls.

I agree with both of you and think it depends somewhat on your location on the landscape. If for instance you live in an isolated area with little livestock surrounding you, what Steve said should work great. If you live on or around a small livestock operation, feeding what Steve suggests may bring you lots of house sparrows and that isn't cheap either. What really torqued me off was when they decided they could empty the sunflower feeders on a daily basis. This is why I opted several years back to include thistle feeders as the sparrows were not interested in it. I also stopped with any mixed seed or cracked corn. Trapping the sparrows helps but if you've got a neighbor nearby who doesn't take time to control them, the problem never ends. They just attempt to repopulate. I envy those who don't have to put up with these nuisances.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good points, Dotch. I'd forgotten what it's like to feed birds in house sparrow country. I did that for many years, but it was a long time ago. I guess I'm truly spoiled to live up in the boreal forest where the only house sparrows I see are on the Discovery Channel. A guy has to be careful that he doesn't start taking these things for granted. gringrin

BTW, our redpoll/siskin count was back up around 300 yesterday. Those redpolls are sure dawdling and delaying their trip north. Interestingly, about half of the redpolls at our feeders are males. That's a lot higher ratio than normal here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And you're 100% correct about thistle seed expense, Steve. Prices were getting out of hand this winter. I blended it down with a cheaper finch mix for awhile that would still (sort of) feed through the feeders. At the peak, we had about 100 redpolls. Between them, a loyal contingent of a dozen goldfinches and a smattering of house finches, they managed to blow through ~ $15/week worth of thistle seed. Using my farmer math, $45 per week would start to pull pretty darn hard on the ol' cash flow. grin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The House Sparrows probably eat cheap compared to our red and gray "friends"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • Goldman Sachs has been smiling all the way to the bank lately...   As noted by market legend Art Cashin, the director of floor operations at UBS and long-time trading veteran, Goldman Sachs, one of the 30 stocks making up the Dow Jones Industrial Average index, has been responsible for a huge amount of the increase in that index. From Cashin’s daily commentary on Wednesday (emphasis added): “The Dow closed up 35 points and almost 23 of those points came from Goldman Sachs (GS). In fact, our good friend and fellow trading veteran, Jim Brown, at Option Investor, points out that GS has rallied $57 since the election. That means that GS has provided 441 of the 1363 points that the Dow has rallied. In case your calculator batteries are dead, that’s about one third of the rally, all due to Goldman.“    
    • The bigfoot blocks the light just fine. I bought used so there were portions of it that were worn and had tiny holes, but even with that I could see great. Making sure your skirt is down properly and covering up the floor make a much bigger difference. I use EVA foam exercise tiles for the floor, light weight and shed the water well.

      This year I went around and patched up a bunch of those, I used something we had lying around called Gesso, but I am guessing white out would have worked fine. Let that dry and then went over it with a sharpie. I doubt it will make a difference in me getting a fish or not, but needed to fill some time with the late ice  .   I am fairly certain this is the style of interior that caused the issue of seeing lines in the hole.
    • That is a good point to make. I never thought about the extra torque that is needed for the chipper blades witch I think is why the SM Electra has such a short battery life and NOT to get it confused with SM lithium lazer and no the SM doesn't have reverse.  The reverse isn't a huge selling point for me but it is a plus.  The more I read comments about ION I might have to get me one.
    • Very nice work again LRG! Like many others, I have gotten a lot of good information from your postings on here and greatly appreciate it! I am in the process of building a 22' house now myself and know the extra time and effort it takes to document progress. I plan to share some of my experiences when I'm closer to finished. Once again thank you very much for sharing and great work!
    • PB is always the go-to bait.
    • Never even thought of that will check but I think it should be fine though.     Seems dark with the skirt laying flat, windows, vents, and doors shut set up in the basement with lots of lights on seems nice and dark. Wouldn't know till I get out there and try it I guess.
    • I talked to the guys who measure the precip up at the meetings I recently attended. Asked them when they were having the party to celebrate. We were fortunate here. Plenty of rain but managed to escape several of the major poundings they got just 13 miles to the north. More on that here:   This boat is blacked out like a city
      Awaiting bombers in the night   While there were no 50 degree highs the scurs and their trusty Weather Eye still kept things above zero and largely above freezing. ? Starting Wednesday, partly sunny with a slight chance of snow. Highs in the low 20’s with lows in the low teens. Thursday, mostly cloudy with a slight chance of snow in the forenoon. Highs in the low 20’s with lows around 10. Mostly sunny Friday with increasing clouds with a modest chance of snow in the evening. Highs in the upper teens with lows in the mid-teens. Saturday, mostly cloudy with a moderate chance of snow.  Highs in the mid-20’s with lows in the upper teens. Mostly cloudy on Sunday with a slight chance of forenoon snow. Highs in the mid-20’s with lows in the upper teens. Monday, mostly cloudy with a chance of flurries. Highs in the mid-20’s with lows in the lower double digits. Mostly cloudy for Tuesday with a continued chance for snow showers. Highs in the low 20’s with lows in the mid-single digits, still above zero.  The normal high for December 13th is 27 and the normal low is 10. We’ll be down to 8 hours and 56 minutes of daylight on the 13th. The scurs procrastination is paying off once again. With the short days and all the cloudy weather it’s better for napping than shopping anyway.   The Full Moon for the month also will occur on the 13th and is known as the Full Cold Moon, The Moon before the Yule or the Long Nights Moon, aptly named with the short days we are experiencing. The Ojibwe called this the Small Spirits Moon and the Sioux named it the Moon of Popping Trees. At the ranch we know it as the Moon of Frozen Water Buckets. Measurable snow fell in Bugtussle and at the ranch for the first time this winter season on Saturday night into Sunday a.m.  An inch of snow which melted down to .09” of liquid equivalent precipitation. It was all but melted by early afternoon accumulating into the soil which remained unfrozen. The soil profile down to the 5’ depth was had a little over 10” of available moisture in it back on November 2nd. There’s little reason to believe it’s a lot drier than that even though we were slightly below the normal 2.16” of precip at the SROC for last month.   Speaking of the SROC, hats off (and swim fins on) for their recent setting of the annual precipitation record for MN. The record of 53.73” was set back on November 28th; they’ve received more since then and have the rest of December to add to it. Records in Bugtussle are incomplete as the gauge was not functional until April 7th. At the ranch we garnered 43.25” by the end of November. Let’s hope we don’t play catch up.   Some isolated areas of remaining corn were rumored to have been picked but aside from that, very little fieldwork was accomplished this past week. Some are still hoping to get one more crack at some tillage or anhydrous ammonia application although that window will likely close quickly given the forecast. It also remains questionable how well the ground will seal and whether the knives on the applicators will ball up. It really hasn’t dried up to speak of.   At the Lions pancake feed Sunday it was great to see Buddy Shurson in attendance. For those of you who didn’t read the wonderful article that included Buddy a few weeks ago, he was a gunner on a B-17 during WWII. Until after I saw him I’d almost forgotten that Wednesday the 7th marks the 75th anniversary of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. I still remember my parents telling me what dark days in history those were after that. On the farm war time rationing made everyone feel the pinch and there was some jealousy when someone got something they didn’t think you should have. I recall Dad telling about neighbors questioning how he wound up with a small, 12” rubber tire on the mounted International sickle mower he’d purchased. Yes, things were that tight.   Back to the B-17. It was a marvel of modern aviation at the time. When first being developed in the mid-1930’s, it was equipped with Pratt and Whitney engines. However, more power was needed so the engines were switched exclusively to the Wright R-1820-97 turbo-supercharged “Cyclone” that developed 1200 hp apiece. There were four wing mounted engines on this aircraft. While not extraordinary by today’s standards, they were beefy enough to allow the aircraft to limp home even if a couple engines had been knocked out. No small feat for a plane weighing over 36,000 lbs. when empty and 54,000 lbs. when loaded.   Who manufactured the engines? During WWII, one of the manufacturers licensed by Wright to produce them was Studebaker. By the time Pearl Harbor was bombed, the company had already converted much of their assembly line capacity in anticipation of our entry into the war, suspending much of its 1942 model year production. A new plant was added for production of the Cyclone. They built over 63,000 of these radial aircraft engines for the B-17’s in the war effort. From January 1944 through the summer of 1945, all B-17 engines were supplied by Studebaker. The company also built nearly 200,000 trucks most of which went to the Soviet Union and over 15,000 Weasels, an all-terrain tracked vehicle. When I look at the Studebakers in our garage, it gives me an appreciation of their place in American history. When I see Buddy, it also makes me happy to know that somewhere along the line the company probably had an impact on bringing our own local piece of American history back home safely. Thanks Buddy and to all who served!   See you next week…real good then.  
    • With President-elect Donald Trump soon taking office, businesses are optimistic about the soon-to-be-changing economic landscape in the country. United States Steel is one such company that is already planning to do things differently under a Trump administration. "We already structured to do some things, but when you see in the near future improvement to the tax laws, improvements to regulation, those two things by themselves may be a significant driver to what we're going to do," CEO Mario Longhi said in an interview with CNBC. "I'd be more than happy to bring back the employees we've been forced to lay off during that depressive period," he added, which "could be close to 10,000 jobs."       OH, MY..  
    • Big Dave...   Thought he was on a roll...     Whoops !!..  
  • Our Sponsors