Yesterday we decided to tally the feeder seed preferences of our bird
visitors. Since we fill five feeders during the winter, all equally
accessible in a row hanging from a wire within a span of ten feet, we
thought it would be a fair test. At one end we have cedar and spruce for
shelter, at the other our venerable box-elder tree.
In order left to right we have: a tube feeder with safflower seed; a
tube with nyger(thistle); a "squirrel-proof" hopper with spring-loaded
perch, filled with sunflower hearts; a hanging tray with red millet;
and a raw beef suet feeder in a cage.
Over a period of 30 minutes (10:15 to 10:45am) we had approx. 3 BC
Chickadees, 2 Titmouse, 2 WB Nuthatches, 1 Hairy and 2 Downy
woodpeckers, 2 Cardinals, 2 Blue Jays, 2 Goldfinches and 1 Housefinch.
(We did not try to distinguish individuals in the flurry of feeding
visits.) One RB Woodpecker did not come down from the tree.
Here is a summary of the results:
Safflower 20 visits total (7 Chickadee, 10 Titmouse, 3 Housefinch)
Nyger 2 ( one each Chickadee and Goldfinch)
Sun.hearts 54 total (27 Chickadee, 22 WBNuthatch, 4 Titmouse, 1
Millet 9 (2 Cardinal, 7 Blue Jay)
Suet 8 (1 Chickadee, 2 Hairy, 5 Downy)
We hope you find this tally entertaining. We find Safflower to be very
popular with the small birds and ignored by squirrels. Luckily the red
squirrel was not there to dominate the suet feeder or the millet tray.
There is a whole saga to relate about making the hopper feeder really
Nari & Gin Mistry
*Nari B. Mistry*,
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