-A PSA from Edmonton’s local & independent birding experts for 30 plus years (that’s us, The Wildbird General Store, on the Southside!)
A word to the wise (especially those paying attention to a recent Edmonton bylaw motion regarding coyotes: See here, and here): Filling your feeders with top quality seed keeps the sparrows from kicking out the stuff they don’t like, preventing build-up underneath your feeders that attracts vermin.
1. Black oil sunflower seeds, out of the shell, aka kernels, are the most nutritious option and are enjoyed by all the little birds. 20lbs of Medium chip is $37.99 (or try 5.5lb for $12.99). In shell black oil makes a bit of shell mess & some birds have trouble opening the shells, but it is a better option in open feeders (our top recommendations are tube feeders that are more weather proof, keep out big birds & are easy to clean).
2. Nutrasaff is a bitter varietal of safflower, rejected by squirrels, and largely by sparrows as well. Enjoyed by chickadees, nuthatches, & house finches.
3. Hulled millet (will not germinate into a carpet under your feeder), sparrows love this stuff, allowing you to diversify your feeders better.
4. Peanuts in shell (roasted is a must for shelf life, inhibiting toxic mold growth, & improved nutrition) for the corvids.
5. Suet (especially with bugs, we bring it in by the pallet!), is great for chickadees, nuthatches & woodpeckers. (Tail support is a must for the prehistoric looking pileateds!)A word about seed catchers: When people ask us about these to control the frustrating mess under their feeders, we ask them what they’re using as seed. Inexpensive “Wild Bird Mixes” purchased at big box stores are mostly filler seed (millet, milo, corn, wheat) that the sparrows kick out looking for something better. It’s a waste of your money! Do everyone (and especially the birds) a favour & get the good stuff, you’ll likely realize you don’t need to spend money on a seed catcher. (This advice comes with a caveat about pine siskin eruptions, those guys are messy, especially when you have 100s at a time! Give them fine chip kernels as they have a tendency to bite & spit. Really!)
Sure, we sell Junco mix, a blend going back to Jack’s day that includes regular millet. But it’s meant for just that, Juncos, which are ground feeding birds. A daily small amount that is not allowed to build up should not be attracting vermin. If it does, you may want to let the Juncos forage.
Scratch for the bunnies is a bit more tricky. If you live in a neighborhood with a lot of missing cat posters, chances are there are coyotes in the area. We recommend not letting cats, small dogs, and little children wander unattended, and keeping your garbage managed. That includes whatever is laying on your yard getting mouldy (do not put it back in your feeder!)
Let us know if you’d like to upgrade to a tidier solution!
Call us at 780-439-7333 to place your order for curbside pick-up. Tues-Fri 10-2 & Sat 10-4.