People all over make their own wild bird seed mix; some for the particular local birds that come to their yard, but mostly, I think, because there’s a joy in attracting birds to your yard and even more so when you can save money by making your own Wild Bird Seed Mix. Commercial wild bird seed mixes that you would find at your local stores are expensive and not always the best quality.
But saving money is just part of the reason to make DIY bird seed for wild birds whether to attract new birds to your garden or to feed your local flock during the cold winter months.
Sadly, many commercial bird seed mixes contain filler seeds that are either not what your birds are looking for or just not their top choice so that those filler seeds get ignored and wasted. Even worse, some commercial bird seed mixes have been shown to contain weed seeds which when not eaten may spread noxious weeds. Even if it seems not too bad to have wasted seeds, those ignored seeds that fall to the ground may attract rodents to your yard.
Whether you purchase commercial wild bird seed mix or make your own blend, the first step is to research which birds are in your area that you want to attract. Often local government or agricultural centers have that information but also ask around a local nursery.
People who enjoy watching birds know it’s important to offer them food to entice them to your yard. When we lived on our little farm, there were birds everywhere, and we never took thought about whether they had enough to eat! My personal favorites were the barn swallows who seemed to enjoy life so much. Of course, they had plenty to eat, in or out of the barn, in summer or winter. Out many fruit trees always had fruit left on them over the winter and I made sure to leave a few sunflower heads, too.
But when we moved to suburban neighborhoods, attracting birds became a mission, not just to the yard but close to the windows where little ones could watch them feast. We could've bought expensive pre-mixed bird seeds, (and sometimes did, but only to find many seeds "thrown out" but the local flocks. So why spend all that extra money when you can make your own birdseed mix and get exactly what your birds want.
It's a wonderful activity for the children to take part in but adults of every age, too, will feel closer to nature and more a part of providing assistance to Mother Nature's creatures. We know when we show children how to care for creatures in the wild, or the Earth in any way, we are raising more responsible people who will cherish our planet.
It's the small things that count.
Here’s a recipe birds will love. There are multiple recipes for wild bird seed, ours is quite basic. Aside from the black-oil sunflower seeds, you may have all the ingredients in your kitchen already.
Here’s how to do it:
4 cups black-oil sunflower seeds
2 cups whole oats
1 cup corn meal
1 cup dried fruit
Step 1 – Put the sunflower seeds into a food processor and grind for two seconds. You don’t want the seed to be entirely ground but broken up to make it easier for the birds to eat. Pour the sunflower seeds into a large bowl.
Step 2 – Pour the whole oats into the processor and grind them in the same manner as the seeds. Pour the oats into the bowl with the seeds.
Step 3 – Add the corn meal to the bowl and then stir it together.
Step 4 – Chop the dried fruit into small bits to make it easier for the birds to eat. Use cranberries, raisins, apricots, or other dried fruit. Add that to the other ingredients and blend it together.
Step 5 – Pour the entire mixture into a storage container which seals well.
Step 6 – Place some of the mixture into your bird feeders. Take time to see how many different birds come to your feeder to enjoy what you made.
You can alter the above recipe by adding or substituting any of the following:
White proso millet (the white millet is what is recommended)
More details here about which seeds to avoid and which to look for .
Just a Note: While you are putting out your bird feeders, don’t forget the water – Birds need hydration just like humans. If you don’t have an actual bird batch then simply add a few old pots of water throughout the garden. The birds will find their way to them and use the water to drink as well as cool down.
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