Spring bird feeding basics from Cole’s

Here are some bird feeding tips compliments of Cole’s Wild Bird Products Co.

Photo by Chris Bosak A red-breasted nuthatch grabs a seed from a feeding station in New England last week. (October 2020)

During the global pandemic, and as coronavirus restrictions persist, sales of bird feeders and bird feed continue to skyrocket as people flock to the avian world, right outside their windows where they find the safe and fascinating world of bird watching.

Interest in birding isn’t slowing down; if you haven’t yet tried attracting birds to your backyard, now is a great time to start and for those who are reaping the rewards of watching the birds from home, the experts at Cole’s Wild Bird Products, Co. offer information on bird feed and feeder basics to attract more birds to your backyard this spring.

Spring is a busy season when birds expend lots of energy claiming territory, seeking out mates, building nests, laying, and incubating eggs, and raising their young. It may be weeks before flowers bloom and insects emerge, – which are challenges for birds this time of year. Offering quality feed invites birds to your backyard, and provides a reliable food source, which can have a positive impact on bird’s reproductive success and the survival of their young.

Feeders:

A variety of bird feeder types placed at different heights will always attract more birds than one feeder featuring just one type of seed. Start with two feeder types that will accommodate most feed options:

A couple of birds on a bird feeder

Description automatically generated with medium confidenceBowl feeders are great for serving not only seeds, but also dried mealworms, fruit, and suet in either cake or kibble form. Cole’s Bountiful Bowl Feeder comes with an adjustable dome cover that you can raise or lower to prevent larger birds and squirrels from getting to the food, and it also helps protect from rain.

Traditional tube feeders are a basic, all-purpose feeder and a must-have for bird feeding, especially for finches, nuthatches, and other small birds that cling. The Terrific Tube Feeder is made with state-of- the-art materials to prevent warping and discoloration; but the absolute best feature is the quick clean removable base that makes cleaning fast and easy. You simply push a button, and the bottom of the feeder pops off for super easy access to the inside. Rinse the feeder well with soapy water, dunk it into a nine-to-one water-bleach solution, rinse and dry.  Then just pop the bottom back on and you’re done, there’s no disassembly or assembly of multiple parts necessary. Regular cleaning of feeders is essential, preventing mold, germs, and disease. It’s important to be good stewards when feeding birds by providing safe and clean feeders.

Most Popular Foods for Spring:

1. Birdseed:  Not all birdseed is created equal. Look for quality blends without cheap filler seeds, like red millet and oats. All-natural seed, containing no chemicals or mineral oil are safe and more appealing to birds.  Top seed picks for springtime are all-natural Black-oil sunflower, Cole’s “Hot Meats” (just sunflower meats, no shell, infused with Habanero chili peppers that birds love and squirrels’ dislike!), or try Special Feeder blend, packed with favorites including Black Oil Sunflower, Sunflower Meats, Black Striped Sunflower, Raw Peanuts, Safflower, and Pecans, this blend attracts the greatest number of wild birds! Cole’s offers a wide variety of feed, researched, and specifically formulated to attract certain bird species as well as the largest number of birds and the greatest variety of birds. Check out all feed options here.

2. Dried Mealworms: Full of energy, essential nutrients, fats and proteins, mealworms are a preferred food for adult insect loving songbirds. Plus, in early spring if the ground is still hard, birds may struggle A picture containing ground

Description automatically generatedto extract insects and worms from soil so providing them with a supply of mealworms can help them get the protein and energy they need. Dried mealworms are easy to feed, less messy, and there’s no “ick” factor experienced with live worms.

3. Fresh Fruit: Apple and orange halves and chunks of banana are favorites for orioles and tanagers.  

A picture containing bird, outdoor, sitting, perched

Description automatically generated4. Suet: Perfect for insect-eating birds, high-fat food provides abundant calories and rich nutrition. Some believe suet should only be offered in winter months due to possible melting, but Cole’s no-melt suet can be served all year long. Suet is a favorite of woodpeckers all year, but in spring, tanagers, warblers, and bluebirds love this high-energy treat.

* Add water- Although natural sources of water will be much more abundant, it’s still a good idea to provide a fresh water supply, particularly if birds are nesting in your backyard. Providing a nearby water source means birds don’t need to go too far from the nest to drink and bathe which could leave their eggs or hatchlings vulnerable to predators.

Using the right feeders and high-quality feed will enhance and entice more birds to your backyard for your ongoing enjoyment.

2 thoughts on “Spring bird feeding basics from Cole’s

  1. My wife and I look forward to reading your articles every week in the NH “Weirs Times “. You are the only person we know that has a real passion about watching and feeding birds and wildlife. If you ever get up to the “Lakes Region “ of NH , give us a shout, we would love to show you one of the most beautiful parts of the world.

    Liked by 1 person

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