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 it 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 it another try.

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Birds & Trees: A Tree Falls in the Yard

A Large Pine Tree Falls Across the Back Yard

Each time I enter a home count in eBird, I include a note that the location is a “Suburban Wooded Back Yard.” The many mature trees in our yard are after all a part of the attraction for the birds that come here. Unfortunately over the past year or two, this description is starting to fray. Our lovely large trees keep falling in unusual numbers and each time this happens, it not only affects the yard’s human owners but also the birds and other creatures that live here. Over this past weekend another very large tree fell. This one in particular is going to have real repercussions for bird life in our back yard.

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Common Grackles vs The Nuttery Globe Seed Feeder (Plus a Review)

The Nuttery Globe Seed Feeder
The Nuttery Globe Seed Feeder

I seem to have a growing collection of bird feeders. Some women can’t stop buying shoes. I can’t stop buying bird feeders. Just when I think I’ve got the yard set up perfectly, some bird dynamic changes, I look for a solution and there I am buying another bird feeder!

The problem I was having was a real pain . . . or a non-problem depending on your point of view. While all birds have their good and bad qualities (as seen by humans), I have mixed feelings about Common Grackles. While I think their feathers can be very beautiful in the sunlight and they are quite clever, their manners at the bird feeders don’t endear themselves to me. They tend to arrive in groups and if they like what they find in a feeder, they’ll hang around all day, dominating the feeders quite aggressively, not letting other birds have a chance.

I only have grackle issues periodically, mostly in the spring when they are moving in really large groups. But this year, a small group of them settled into our neighborhood, decided they liked my feeders and didn’t move on. With a crowd of grackles on the feeders, I was hardly seeing the Carolina Chickadees, White-Breasted Nuthatches and Tufted Titmouses that have been yard regulars for years. Even the finches and sparrows were getting scarce. What to do?

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