Feeding Birds Efficiently
Many of us are choosing to spend more time at home, and searching for ways to make our days more relaxing and enjoyable. Feeding birds, one of the nation's most popular hobbies, is a great way to enjoy nature and relieve stress. For those of us who are new to the hobby or are thinking about getting involved, bird feeding can seem like an extravagant hobby. There are, however, several ways to make bird feeding a bit more time and cost efficient so that you spend more time enjoying the hobby. Make sound birding choices by using high quality feeders, minimizing seed waste, and by buying and storing feed properly.
A great starting point for efficient bird feeding is to ensure you have a good quality feeder. Such feeders, made with quality materials and parts, tend to last for quite some time and easily withstand the elements no matter your region. While they may be a higher expense in the beginning, well made feeders can pay for themselves in no time. Look for a feeder with a solid warranty, as this can protect you should anything break or become damaged. Many times you can obtain replacement parts at no charge if your feeder carries a manufacturer's warranty. Additionally, check your feeder each time you refill it, ensuring no parts are damaged or worn. Maintaining your feeder regularly will allow you to enjoy it for years, making it a savvy hobby investment.
Consider adding accessories to your feeder to prevent squirrels from stealing seed or to minimize seed waste. A squirrel baffle, either hanging or pole mounted style, can help deter squirrels and save seed for the birds. Squirrels often consume large amount of bird seed resulting in frequent trips to refill feeders and an increased demand for bags of bird seed. Another way to deter squirrels is to treat your seed with a capsaicin-based product. This is the chemical that makes peppers taste hot to mammals. Squirrels will experience the heat and avoid that seed, but birds will not be affected by it and will continue to enjoy dining. Squirrel feed may often be purchased for considerably less than bird seed if you wish to feed both squirrels and birds alike. Install a seed platform below your feeder to catch loose seed thrown from the feeder. A seed platform will not only extend the life of each bag of seed, but it will also keep the area underneath the feeder tidy. Platforms add a great place for a variety of birds to feed and will increase the chances to see rare or unlikely birds.
One way to reduce seed waste often involves no additional accessorizing and can be done immediately. Simply changing the type of seed that you offer in your bird feeders can drastically improve your efficiency in bird feeding. While a no-mess or waste-free blend of seed may have a higher initial cost, it is designed to be eaten entirely with very little of the bag going to waste. In a typical bag of seed, a considerable amount of cast off in the form of seed hulls is not uncommon. You may wish to do a comparison between a standard seed mix and a waste free blend, monitoring their levels throughout the week in similar feeders, to determine which seed blend is right for you.
Buying seed or suet in bulk is almost always the better value when compared to purchasing small bags or single cakes. When shopping for large amounts of feed, be sure you have proper, adequate storage for it. Seed should be kept in metal or plastic bins with a tight fitting lid to prevent moisture from reaching it. This also keeps mice, rats, and bugs from infesting and ruining it. Keep feed in a cold, dry place such as a basement, or in the refrigerator in warm weather to reduce the chances of mold or mildew.
Spending more time observing birds brings us closer to nature, and keeping it cost and time effective makes it even more enjoyable. By making a few simple alterations to your current feeding regimen, you can keep bird feeding efficient and fun. BestNest carries a complete line of products designed to meet your birding needs. Be sure to visit our Wild Birds department to check out all of our exciting products.