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Enticing the Wild

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For those who are not able to house an exotic companion bird, yet still want to enjoy avian behavior, wild bird watching can be the perfect compromise.

In order to attract a plethora of wild species, the perfect pairing of food and feeder must be provided.

Like all avian species, wild birds are drawn to seeds of all shapes and sizes. Since wild birds are constantly on the move and able to burn ample amounts of calories each day, most feed products for them are high in fat and calories, such as seed diets and suet treats.

Bird Seed Cylinders are a good way to attract all species of wild birds to a customer’s back yard. The No-Mess Seed Cylinder is a compacted blend of seeds such as sunflower chips, peanuts, tree nuts and cherries, while Jim’s Birdacious Nutty for Nuts Cylinder features made of almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, walnuts and roasted peanuts.

“Seed cylinders are packed with seeds and fruit which provide critical fats and proteins birds need to survive cold winter nights,” Margaret Collins, media and public relations manager for Wild Birds Unlimited, said. “Rather than loose seed that gets carried away to a nearby branch, opened, consumed and unseen; the birds cling to a seed cylinder and eat to their hearts’ content.”

The Tidy Cylinder Feeder can be used with the Bird Seed Cylinders and feature a small tray on the bottom to catch all the uneaten seeds and eliminate messiness.

Wild Birds Unlimited, the “largest franchise system of backyard bird feeding and nature specialty stores,” also provides a large variety blended and non-blended seed products as well as suet products. Each product is made with 100 percent edible seeds, which eliminates the shell to allow the bird to consume the whole seed, and are formulated for local species. WBU’s non-blended products include 100 percent edible Premium Oil Sunflower, Nyjer (thistle), millet and ear corn.

Cole’s Wild Bird Products supplies stores all over the United States with all natural feed and feeders. Cole’s seed products are all natural and are selected from the top percentage of crops to ensure only the best ingredients.

They do not wash their feed or coat them with chemicals or mineral oil and do not use fillers. The most popular seed sold is Cole’s Special Feeder. This blend provides a high-energy snack for many species of birds and includes black oil sunflower, sunflower meats, black stripe, sunflower, raw peanuts, safflower and pecans.

Beyond Seed

Suet is a high energy, pure fat product that helps wild species, such as chickadees, titmice and woodpeckers, maintain weight during the colder winter months or while burning calories during the warmer spring and summer months. Both Wild Birds Unlimited and Cole’s Wild Bird Products offer many varieties of this high calorie treat.

The most popular Wild Birds Unlimited suet products are Naturally Nuts and Peanut Butter’n Jelly. Both come in dough and cake forms. The no-melt dough can be used when temperatures are above 95 degrees. Cole’s Hot Meat Suet Cake is among the company’s most popular sellers and contains chili pepper suet mixed with Sunflower meats.

Another popular blend produced by Coles is the Coles’ Nutberry Suet.

“Nutberry Suet Blend combines all of nature’s best in one delicious blend,” Joan Casanova, public relations contact for Cole’s Wild Bird Products, said. “Attract fruit and insect loving songbirds to your feeder with this unique mix of premium fruits, preferred nuts, nutritious insect suet kibbles, and whole kernel sunflower meats. Bluebirds, warblers, robins, woodpeckers and more absolutely love this special treat.”

Cole’s also sells Suet Nuts and Kibbles, which are small round pearls of suet that can be mixed and fed with seed blends.

Along with specialty food, Cole’s Wild Bird Products offers multiple styles of feeders. To attract the widest variety of species, it is crucial to understand what each species likes.

Some like elevated platforms, while others prefer hanging feeders. Some species skip the feeder all together and would rather forage on the ground. The most common type of feeder is a tube feeder. Cole’s Tube Feeders are easily cleaned by removing the bottom with the click of a button and do not require any disassembly. Another popular feeder is the Nify Niger

Feeder used to cleanly dispense Niger seeds, which naturally oily. The feeder features tiny holes to eliminate waste.

Understanding each species preferences for food and feeder will help bird watchers increase the variety of birds coming to their feeders. Offering 100 percent natural seed blends contained in the appropriate style feeder will keep birds coming back for more.

- Erin Salley

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