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Old Friday 4th January 2019, 15:32   #1
wunderlong88
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bird seed

We are new to birding. I was going to purchase some bird seed and there are some many kinds I wasn't sure what was the best to attract a variety of wild birds in my area (Palo Pinto Co, TX).

What should I look for?

TY
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Old Friday 4th January 2019, 15:38   #2
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Hi wunderlong - exciting times for you..... and interesting too.

It would help us to advise you if you have an idea of what species you have seen hanging around so far.

If you don't know what they are, but can manage to get a picture, they can be identified for you.

A wide variety of species like sunflower hearts, so you could make a start with them maybe. But wait until some others from your side of the pond call in.
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Old Friday 4th January 2019, 16:27   #3
wunderlong88
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We live in a very remote area and see a lot of varieties of birds. We have red robins, cardinals, cedar waxwings, kinglets, woodpeckers, sparrows, eastern phoebes, juncos, hummingbirds, eastern/western meadowlarks to name a few. We have just started trying to identify birds. We purchased a good camera and good binoculars and have been pleased with what we have in our yard.

We have a large creek in our backyard and have a variety of waterfowl but they are so timid that they leave at the least motion. We have lots of crows, wild turkeys, Mississippi Kites, barn owls and other birds of prey that we haven't identified.

(Some of these are not year round residents, of course)

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Old Friday 4th January 2019, 16:40   #4
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Well your woodpeckers (and many of the other birds) will like a peanut feeder. Some will love peanut butter smeared on the tree trunks and branches (but you MUST get one forumated for birds.... basically salt free).

Meal worms are popular with most species, escpecially during the breeding season.

Finches go for niger (nyjer?) seed.

The other species, will need the expertise of your compatriots, like the make up of sugar water for the humming birds.

Hope these ideas give you something to work on.
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Old Friday 4th January 2019, 17:15   #5
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Suet feeders and sunflower heart seeds are a big drawer for bird life.
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Old Friday 4th January 2019, 18:53   #6
MeInDallas
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You live really close to me. I have out black oil sunflower seeds, sunflower hearts, shelled peanuts, and several different kinds of suet. I have several tray feeders on the ground filled with that seed labeled "wild bird seed" that you buy on the cheap. I use that as a distraction for the larger birds like Mourning Doves, Grackles, and the House Sparrows prefer it as well. You're next to a creek, so thats a huge plus. I have lots of Carolina Chickadees, Carolina Wrens, Titmouse, Cardinals, Mockingbirds, Blu Jays, Downy Woodpeckers, Red Bellied Woodpeckers, Northern Flickers, Orange Crowned Warblers, Dark Eyed Juncos, and a lot of Mourning Doves.
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Old Saturday 5th January 2019, 15:40   #7
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Sunflower seed will probably attract the greatest variety of birds, including cardinals (they prefer sunflower) and others on your list. Squirrel Busters by Brome are popular feeders. A plus is that many ground feeders will be attracted to seed dropped by the ones on the feeder. Sunflower hearts create less mess; it costs more than whole seeds, but it's all food -- you're not paying for shells.

Woodpeckers and wrens LOVE suet with peanuts in it; juncos do too, which surprised me. I have one of THESE and there's frequently somebody on it. There are smaller versions...I got the larger one hoping to attract a pileated -- no luck yet, but several frequent downies, with occasional red-bellied and ladder-backed.

Nyjer thistle is preferred by goldfinches...but house finches and purple finches seem to spend much more time with the sunflower seed.

Besides food, you need water for them - which the creek would seem to provide - for drinking and bathing. Not sure how far the creek is from where you'll be watching; if it's too far to see, maybe put something closer. Doesn't have to be fancy...in fact it might be preferable if it isn't.

A final suggestion -- don't bother with blends or mixes. Almost a certainty there'll be a lot of waste that doesn't get eaten.

Have fun!
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Old Sunday 20th January 2019, 19:21   #8
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i know this will be disputed but our goldfinches prefer oil sunflower seeds . we had two thistle feeders for several years and they worked great , that ended for some reason . gave one away and other resides permanently in attic . we now have 6 feeders out [7 in summer] with oil sunflower seeds , safflower , shelled peanuts , and peanut butter [ actually ''wild birds bark butter'' at $6 a pound ] . all work well and draw enough birds to attract a hawk . it chooses its own meals . . . peace
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Old Monday 28th January 2019, 22:05   #9
kevinb70
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definitely keep feeding in the winter!!!

to keep it simpliest, stick with:
1) boss (black oil sunflower seed)
2) nut based suet

this will feed a very wide variety of songbirds

possibly dried mealworms powdered with calcium (bluebirds, mealworms need calcium as they are calcium depleting). I don't really see any other bird other than my bluebirds at the mealworm feeder, and bluebirds generally don't eat bird seed. I wouldn't do mealworms without also having some bluebird nest boxes in the yard


I do add a small feeder in winter, with sunflower hearts or pennington fruit/berry/nut 'ultra' blend so the smallest birds can get lots of energy fast to survive the cold.

for my bluebirds, I also start mealworms in winter, and in nesting season (july-ish) when there's more than 1 day of rain when bug hunting is more scarce.

I think nyjer goes bad easily as it seems it seems to always go uneaten vs sunflower.


I frequently whistle 2 tones (1 high, 1 low) while I'm out filling the feeders, so birds "know me" by my call
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Old Friday 1st February 2019, 13:20   #10
Paul Longland
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One tip.

Remember to give your feeders a thorough cleaning every now and then. This helps prevent spread of disease. Also its a good idea to move their location once in a while. Again this prevents the build up of dropped seeds which can attract vermin such as rats and mice and also accumulation of droppings and hence any parasites/infections etc.

Don't worry, as long as you don't move them too far the birds will very quickly relocate them.
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