Trying Nutra-Saff (Golden Safflower) Again

Nutrasaff or "Golden Safflower"
Nutrasaff or “Golden Safflower”

Years ago I saw a bag of Nutra-Saff (sometimes called “Golden Safflower”) on a store shelf and gave this version of safflower a try. None of the birds in my yard seemed impressed. Eventually it got eaten but not enthusiastically, so I didn’t buy more of it. But recently, after writing a post on Choosing Seed For Backyard Birds, I started thinking about it and decided to give Nutra-Saff another try.

Continue reading Trying Nutra-Saff (Golden Safflower) Again

Where to Put Bird Feeders: Spread Them Out!

Backyard Bird Feeders

How do you make your yard’s bird feeders a success with a wide variety of birds? If you’ve got more than one or two feeders, and have the space, consider spreading them out! Too many feeders right on top of each other, each appealing to different types of birds, creates congestion. This increases conflict as species and personal spaces overlap.

This doesn’t mean that every feeder has to be its own remote island. Think about about feeder types and which birds are likely to visit each feeder. Then cluster the feeders that make sense to be near each other. Leave space in between the clusters to allow various species to eat relatively peacefully at the same time.

Continue reading Where to Put Bird Feeders: Spread Them Out!

Choosing Seed For Backyard Birds: Who Eats What?

White-Breasted Nuthatch Eating Sunflower Hearts
White-Breasted Nuthatch Eating Sunflower Hearts

How do you choose what seed to offer backyard birds? When you first start feeding birds, you might think that you can just buy any birdseed mix, plop it in whatever feeder you like and a wide variety of birds will quickly come flocking. The seed bag probably has a list of all the birds that will eat the food, so all of them should show up at your feeder, right?

Well, they might if you are lucky. But it is also very possible you will wind up with a mob of birds you don’t like dominating the feeder picking through the mix and dropping seed they don’t like on the ground to go to waste. Putting the right feeder in the right location is important, but what you put into it is important too. Here are the seeds and other foods I offer birds (and foods that I don’t) in my own Maryland back yard, followed by a list of who eats what.

Continue reading Choosing Seed For Backyard Birds: Who Eats What?