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.

 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:

 Bowl feeders are great for serving not only seeds, but also dried mealworms, fruit, and suet in either cake or kibble form. Some come 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.

 If you have a specific bird that you’d like to attract to your back yard, such as hummingbirds or or songbirds, ACE Hardware in Linden has bird food, accessories and feeders separated by bird.

 Tractor Supply Company (TSC) in Fenton also has a large section of bird feed and accessories. The store continues to do curbside pickup if that is your preference.

 Another local store to find quality bird feed and accessories is Family Farm & Home in Fenton. As with TSC, peruse their websites to check out all of their merchandise.  

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 safer and more appealing to birds.  Top seed picks for springtime are all-natural Black-oil sunflower, 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.

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 to 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.  

4. 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. 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.

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