Be Your Own Birder

Celebrate National Trail Mix Day!

Today is a holiday all birders should be familiar with – it’s National Trail Mix Day! But wait, that’s not about birds… Or is it?

Trail Mix

Trail Mix – Photo by Marco Verch

Trail mix is the ultimate birder-friendly and bird-friendly snack. Typically a combination of nuts, seeds, granola, and dried fruits (and occasionally more indulgent with bits of chocolate or candy pieces mixed in), this snack is ideal for munching on the trail during a long day of birding, and will provide healthy energy to keep seeing birds. Furthermore, if you encounter any insistent birds that want their own treat – gray jays come to mind with their curiosity and propensity to look for handouts – you can easily share a bite or two (as a rare treat for the birds only, not daily feed!). Trail mixes come in different blends, from a chocolate-lovers luxury mix with candy pieces, chocolate drops, or peanut butter cups to spicy varieties with eye-watering seasonings to heart-healthy mixes that include good fiber and antioxidants.

Trail mix’s birder-friendly qualities go beyond different tastes, however. This snack is lightweight, so it won’t weigh down a field bag. A little goes a long way, so you don’t need to take up space with larger packages. It doesn’t need refrigeration (though I wouldn’t recommend chocolate-heavy blends in the hottest climates), and has a long shelf life. It’s easy to put into reusable pouches or small containers, without leaving wrappers or litter behind. It’s a fully edible snack, without any shells, hulls, or other waste that might not be too pleasant to find at the bottom of your field bag weeks later. You can even customize your own trail mix preferences by mixing up a unique blend with only your favorite ingredients.

So celebrate today – grab your favorite trail mix and head out to see some birds!

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