Birds of Oklahoma
Bird Feed


courtesy of Birdzilla.com

BIRD FEED
There is a wide variety of food sources and types for feeding wild birds. Different types of seed attract different types of birds. The following chart will provide basic information on several types of feeds and the birds that it will attract.

FOOD

 

 

 

 

 

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Buntings

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Cardinal

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Catbird

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Chickadee

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Doves

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Goldfinch

 

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Grosbeaks

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Hummingbirds

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Jays

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Juncos

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Mockingbird

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Nuthatches

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Orioles

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Pine Siskins

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Purple/House Finch

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Quail

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Red-winged
blackbird

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Sparrows

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Thrushes

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Towhees

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Woodpeckers

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Wrens

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Here are a few additional tips regarding food items and feeding:

Egg shells:
Egg shell can be an important source of calcium, especially for female birds during nesting. Wash and dry your egg shells, then bake at 200-300 degrees until the edges just start to turn brown. Crush and serve on the ground or a platform feeder.

Feeding:
For ground and platform feeders distribute only what is eaten in a day, or two at the most. When refilling hopper feeders, tube feeders, etc. make sure any remaining seed is clean and loose in the container. Watch for signs of mold and mildew in the seed or on the feeder. Clean and dry your feeder if signs of mold or mildew are present.

Fresh water:
In many areas the most effective addition to your yard for attracting birds is a bird bath. Bird baths can be enhanced with
drippers and misters, which many birds love. Keep the water fresh, and clean out the birdbath on a regular basis to eliminate contamination.

Fruit:
Orange and grapefruit halves attract orioles, jays, tanagers and
flickers. Chopped raisins, soaked in water to soften, and chopped up apples are popular with many species, including thrushes, mockingbirds, jays

Mealworms:
Mealworms are popular with several species. Bluebirds especially love them.

Mixed seed:
There is a variety of good seed blends available. Be careful in purchasing the bags of mixed seed commonly seen in grocery stores and discount stores. Many of these mixes contain large amounts of milo and other seed that may not be popular with the birds in your area.

Storage:
Store your seed in a cool, dry location. Trash cans with a tight lid make an ideal storage container. Do not feed seed or grain that has become moldy or covered with mildew.

Sunflower seed:
Sunflower is probably the best all around food. Sunflower hearts are no doubt the best but are expensive. Black oil sunflower has become the most popular because it is easier for the birds to open, (Some weak billed birds can not open the striped sunflower seeds.), and contains a large kernel.

Suet:
Suet is the dense fat found around beef kidneys and loins. It is available already prepared as a bird food, often mixed with peanut butter, chopped peanuts, sunflowers or other seed.

It can also be found at many grocery stores, just ask at the meat counter. It will not be as neatly packaged but will work as well in cooler climates. Woodpeckers especially love suet

In warmer areas the suet will need to be rendered to produce a harder product that will not melt in the heat. Render the fat by melting it in a pan or skillet. Discard any undissolved pieces and pour into a metal container to cool.

Consider rendering outdoors or your house may have an interesting smell for quite some time. You can also mix in peanut butter and sunflower hearts with the melted suet.

Sugar water:
Feed hummingbirds with a mixture of sugar and water. Food coloring is not required or desirable. Mix 1/4 cup of sugar with each cup of water. Bring the water to a boil, then remove the mixture from the heat. You may have to stir the mixture to insure the sugar dissolves. 

 


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