3.10.2012

When I Was Little

I was the quintessential nerdy child.  My biggest obsession was feeding the wild birds that came to our yard - I even had a 12'x3' garden dedicated to songbird-friendly perennials and annuals.  The "kick" lasted several years - not just a summer, as most of my family thought it would.  
Then high school hit, and while I try to remember to throw sunflower seeds in the feeder every once in a while, I've mostly neglected that hobby for six months or so (feeding little animals is a hobby? how cruel).  Consequently, my little sister has dedicated herself to keeping the sparrows and siskins alive.  It's quite adorable to see her filling up her birding notebook and poring over all my "Landscaping the Bird-Friendly Backyard" books!  
Her efforts have definitely paid off.  After a few months of empty birdfeeders, the redpolls and chickadees are back in force!

Nerdy Tip of the Day:  If you've got feeders out this season, the #1 birdseed is not one you'd buy in a premixed bag at the grocery store.  For the least expensive (per pound) and most bird-friendly approach, buy a 50-lb bag of black oil sunflower seed and a 10-lb bag of white millet.  Combine the two and this combination feeds over 40 different species of birds living in our area - the most bang for your buck, and you won't be messing around with cheap fillers such as red millet, milo, or cracked corn.  (The latter, however, is great for when the starlings or cowbirds descend en masse - they enjoy it, and it's an incredibly cheap filler to make your birding budget stretch even farther.)  
There you go, no excuses for your little avian friends going hungry this spring!