I thought I’d ask around about what types of seed other birders have success with. Here is what we feed in our backyard and where:
We have a pole that has a few different feeders on it:
A 12 Seater Medium Sized Bird Feeder – Filled with Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
A 4 seater Cottage Style Bird Feeder – Filled with Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
A Wire Mesh Peanut Feeder – Shelled Peanuts
A small Platform Feeder – We mix this one up. Right now it has a mixture of Black Oil Sunflower Seeds and Shelled Peanuts
A Single Suet Cake Feeder – I typically keep all season High Energy suet in this feeder
We have a large Hopper Feeder on a 4 x 4 Post – This gets a mixture of at least Black Oil Sunflower Seeds and Peanuts and sometimes Whole Kernel Corn, Safflower Seeds or a Mixed Seed
We also have a platform and a flat stump that we feed shelled peanuts, Black Oil Sunflower, sometims Corn, Safflower or whole peanuts.
Steve puts out 4 – 6 Cobs of corn in various places in the yard for the Squirrels
We have a double suet feeder that normally contains a flavored suet and a Birdola Seed Cake.
We also have an 8 seater Thistle feeder with a rain shield. We currently have this filled with a high energy finch mix containing Nyjer seed, sunflower hearts and one other type of seed I think. The finches do not seem to care as long as it is very fresh.
The above are in place all year.
For the summer, we additionally have one hummingbird nectar feeder, one oriole nectar feeder (4 seater), and a hanging tray with grape jelly.
I just bought a lot of seed and I am going to monitor how much we are going through. With this tough economy, I wonder how many backyard birders have been unable to fill their feeders? I’ve found a few ways to save money. Last summer I bought the prepackaged nectar for both orioles and hummingbirds. This year, we’ve been making our own nectar. The birds seem to prefer the homemade nectar. That has been a real money saver. I probably spend the most per day on the seed cakes and all season suet cakes. I really enjoy watching the woodpeckers and nuthatches, so I always keep these on hand. I wish that I could find a place that would sell them to me at wholesale. I have a couple of stores that will offer a pretty good price if I purchase a case. I try to buy the high energy suet from Meijer by the case when it is on sale. My mom told me that I should consider making my own seed cakes, but it is so time consuming. The Birdola ones attract a variety of birds and are very convenient.
I also tend to view the peanuts as a splurge. However, we seem to have a much better variety of birds around when we feed peanuts.
So, sound off in the comments! What are you feeding and how much? Any ideas on how birders can shave expenses?