What do birds eat?
The culinary choices of birds are contingent on the species and the time of year. A diverse menu includes seeds, berries, fruit, insects, other birds, eggs, small mammals, fish, buds, larvae, aquatic invertebrates, acorns, nuts, aquatic vegetation, grain, dead animals, garbage, and more.
Seasonal Shifts in Bird Dining Habits
During the spring and summer months, songbirds predominantly indulge in insects and spiders, owing to their accessibility and high nutritional content. However, as fall and winter arrive, non-migratory birds pivot to fruits and seeds for sustenance.
Fun Fact: Cedar Waxwings may encounter inebriation, and in extreme cases, fatality, from consuming fermented fruit during the spring.
The Joy of Bird Feeding
Feeding birds is an enjoyable pursuit, even in bustling urban landscapes. Opt for tube feeders brimming with nutrient-rich black-oil sunflower seeds—they attract diverse species and are easy for small birds to handle. Another choice is the pricier nyger seed, best dispensed in a dedicated feeder to avoid waste, and it's a particular favorite of finches.
Tackling Rodent Woes and Window Collisions
Combat rodent issues by promptly cleaning up any spilled seeds around feeders. Strategic feeder placement, within three feet of a window or more than 30 feet away, minimizes bird collisions with windows.
Natural Bird Feeding Alternatives
For those unable to deploy traditional feeders, consider a natural approach. Plant seed-bearing delights like dwarf sunflowers, cosmos, and asters in containers, offering both nourishment and aesthetic appeal. To allure hummingbirds, provide vibrant red or orange tubular flowers. Dive deeper into the art of bird feeding, embracing the "natural way."