Be Your Own Birder

Treat Your Birds to Tasty Treats

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There’s always a big hullabaloo in early February about the start of National Bird Feeding Month, but it is soon overshadowed by Valentine’s Day, the Great Backyard Bird Count, Presidents’ Day and other holidays, including Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday this year. But now that you’ve had your treats (mine included a fluffy chocolate cake that will undoubtedly last the rest of the month), don’t forget to treat your birds to something tasty!

Sunflower Hearts

Sunflower Hearts – Photo by David Harris

It can be hard to get out to stores in mid-winter, just when you may be running low on birdseed and suet, the exact foods your birds need most to make it through these chilly days and icy nights. But fortunately, you can order birdseed right online, delivered to your door! Try these affordable options to give your birds the very best nutrition just as they need it most.

  • Sunflower Hearts
    This delicious seed is just the sunflower meat, meaning there are no hulls that build up under the feeder and every ounce of seed will be eaten by hungry birds. What’s more, birds don’t need to use energy to bust open seed hulls – a great savings on the coldest days! Try a small, 3-pound bag for just over $12 ($4/lb), or save even more with an 8-pound bag for $27 ($3.40/lb). The very best deal for the very hungriest birds is 50-pound bag for $80 ($1.60/lb). Yes, this can be pricey, but since there is no waste, it can still be a bargain because you aren’t paying for the weight of hulls or debris.
  • Sunflower Seeds
    If you still want to offer sunflower seeds but hearts are out of your budget, you can still find a good deal for whole sunflower seeds. You want to be sure you aren’t ordering seeds intended as human snacks, however, since the added salt and flavorings aren’t good for birds. Try a 25-pound bag of black oil sunflower seeds for $25 ($1/lb), or go bigger with a 40-pound bag for $40 ($1/lb). There isn’t a good price break for the larger quantity, but you won’t have to order as frequently even if your birds have hearty appetites.
  • Nyjer Seed
    A favorite of all types of winter finches, including redpolls and siskins as well as goldfinches, these high-oil seed is a fabulous source of winter calories. Unfortunately, it is also a more expensive seed, but if you offer it in mesh or sock feeders, there won’t be much waste as the birds gulp it down. You can get a 10-pound bag for $19 ($1.90/lb), or if you feed a lot of birds nyjer, you’ll want a larger bag at a better price, such as a 20-pound bag for just $28 ($1.40/lb).
  • Mixed Birdseed
    If you feed a lot of different birds at your winter feeders, mixed birdseed may be the way to go with a blend of millet, sunflower seeds and other foods that can appeal to a wide range of birds. This is also a more affordable seed, and you can get a 10-pound bag for $14 ($1.40/lb), or a 16-pound bag for $20 ($1.25/lb). You might want to mix this type of seed with sunflower hearts to create a richer mix that offers more calories for winter birds, while not needing as rich a budget.
  • Suet Cakes
    There are all types of suet cakes you can find online, with all different blends and add-ins to appeal to different birds, but it is the fat that appeals to the birds the most, and all suet cakes have that. Consider a 10-pack of suet cakes for $14 ($1.40/cake), and you can freeze cakes you aren’t ready to use right away so you always have extra on hand when the feeders empty out.
  • Peanuts
    If your feeders are like mine, there aren’t enough peanuts in the world to satisfy the blue jays, red-bellied woodpeckers and other birds that love them. Fortunately, peanuts are easy to order online! If you prefer in-shell nuts, you can get a 5-pound bag for $13 ($2.60/lb), or for even more feeding, a 25-pound bag for $52 ($2.08/lb). Of course, I’ve found that the tufted titmouse prefers shelled peanuts, which means no shells to clean up. You can get a 10-pound bag of peanut hearts for $17 ($1.70/lb), which is plenty to feed even the hungriest appetite all month long!

No matter what you’re feeding your birds, there’s never an excuse to run out of seed, suet or nuts when you can order it for great deals online. Even if your local stores might have lower prices now and then, the convenience of not going out on icy roads in the winter can be helpful, at least until you can drive more easily. Get shopping and give your birds a tasty treat today!

Note: Prices quoted are accurate at time of publication, but do not include
possible shipping charges. Many larger orders will qualify for free shipping.

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