March 13, 2007
I usually try to place my bird feeders in the garden, depending on what kind of seed they contain. I am down to only three kinds of feed lately.
I like whole unshelled peanuts for the woodpeckers and chickadees. I have a metal peanut feeder which works great. But I also use some onion netting as well. I saved a couple of netting bags from the small white onions or from a garlic netting bag. I put the peanuts in the netting, tie up the end and hang the bag in a tree or bush. It does bother me when the small downy woodpecker laboriously pecks a hole in the peanut shells, only to be chased away by the bully bluejays once the peanuts are accessible.
I keep the feeder for the niger thistle in a spot that hangs over a lawn area. Last year, the seed sprouted in a pathway/garden area and I had to keep pulling the thistle out. In the lawn, they won’t grow to any height once the lawn mower starts its regular rounds.
Black sunflower seeds seem to disappear overnight. When the birds are ravenous, I could be filling the feeders every other day and still not keep up. The goldfinches, sparrows, purple finches, chickadees, blue jays, cardinals and mourning doves all flock to the feeders. I don’t mind if these feeders are situated over certain garden beds. In those beds, I don’t mind if a few sunflowers sprout up later in the spring.
In fact, I usually save some of the sunflower seed to sow in the garden. A handful of bird seed bought at bird seed prices costs only pennies. A package of sunflower seeds costs a couple of dollars at a minimum. If I feel extravagant I will splurge on a couple of packages of the fancy sunflowers, but for a mass planting, the bird seed variety is good enough for me (and the birds that do come along late in the summer to feed on the seed).
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