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Discussion in 'Plants: In the News' started by Junglekeeper, Mar 21, 2020.
Research shows most bird feed contains troublesome weed seeds
One person I know had a fine crop of Cannabis sativa seedlings come up under their bird table . . .
True this, JK.
Experience has taught me to buy the good stuff. Cheap seed is ignored: birds dig through and toss it aside. Landfill thereby created beneath the feeder. This revolting 'seed-berg', unappealing as it is to humans in its every aspect---source of weeds, mold, decay---sends out a come-hither message to a variety of unwanted guests. Rat Smorgasbord!
Blue jays love peanuts (and say so), mourning doves go for the corn, and watching nuthatches, chickadees, and downy woodpeckers swoop in for the sunflower seeds and dart off to hammer them open is fine entertainment anytime.
Good seed and a well-designed feeder are expensive, but worth it---aesthetically and environmentally.
Best is to landscape for native birds and skip the feeding stations.
Are you suggesting the volume of discarded and rejected seed can be used as a gauge of the seed's quality?
As bird food, yes.
Come to think of it, the selection of seed isn't as simple as opting for a brand reputed to be of high quality. Wouldn't it depend much on the types of birds that come to visit your garden? A premixed bag of seed that is sold across the country is unlikely then to fit the bill for such a localized/regional contingent. It may be more expensive but perhaps it would be best to go to a specialty store that sells seed in bulk in which one can concoct the desired blend. But then that requires knowledge of the various birds you're trying to feed. Am I over-thinking this?
The 'discarded and rejected seed' is often the hulls left behind after the seed kernel has been eaten.
Fit the bill or fit the bills?
Alternative is responsible and thoughtful feeding.
No, you are not!
And I agree with you, JK. There is a vast difference between the contents of a cheap pre-mix bag and those of a better-quality, more expensive one. Best of all is to offer food suitable for native birds of the region. (Here in Columbus we have a dedicated wild bird store plus several excellent garden centers that offer both food and advice. ) Plenty of information available online (or in books, even) as to what these are, and what they like to eat.
In this time of confinement it is cheering to watch my coinhabitants going about their springtime activities and be reminded that life goes on!
As gardeners we are fortunate in that we can still tend to our plants, indoors and outdoors, along with its mental and physical benefits.