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BellaOnline's Birding Editor

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The Great Bird Seed Experiment

Guest Author - Lisa Shea

When you go into home and garden shops, there are more and more supplies each year that help you feed and care for outside birds. Which is of course great. But it can also get really confusing. Which birds like thistle? Which ones want shelled sunflower seeds? How about mixed seed?

I decided to ignore all the hype on the packages and let the BIRDS decide. I moved my backyard picnic table over to where our feeder normally lives, and I put out FIVE types of seed, all commonly available in most stores. I watched it solidly for a full day, and then more sporadically on subsequent days. The birds definitely showed which seeds they enjoyed and which they did not.

First, the basic layout. Here is a diagram of how I set up the table.



So the five types of seeds I used were:

BOSS: Black Oiled Sunflower Seeds, the common, black shell kind
SS: Shelled seeds, i.e. the insides of the sunflower seeds
MX: Mixed seeds, with sunflower amongst many other types
TH: Thistle, the little black niger seeds
CC: Cracked Corn

Page 2: The Seed Types Explained
Photos from the Experiment
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Content copyright © 2014 by Lisa Shea. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Lisa Shea. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

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