Bird Feeding and rodents.

Feeding the birds is big business in the United States.  I used to feed myself and enjoy watching birds up close and how they go about their day.   If you are going to supplemental feed the birds, be aware that rodents (mice and rats)  like to move and hoard food they find.  When a bird feeder is next to your house, they can move seed inside your house, to store for winter. In my experience, this is a bigger problem than people realize. We routinely find sunflower bird seed in attics, couches, shoes, behind dishwashers etc. Mice can move food as big as an acorn. (typically white oak)  Striped and black oil sunflower is preferred by birds and they will go out of their way to horde it.

The main thing is to be aware of the risks if you do decide to feed the birds. A couple things you can do is buy a quality seed, straight sunflower or safflower. Avoid the seed with a lot of filler in it. Birds discard to the ground what they don’t want but mice won’t be so picky. Another thing is a feeder that has some sort of tray underneath, so that a minimum amount of seed actually reaches the ground. Thistle feeders are great for this. A small seed with small openings in the feeder and they can be had with a tray at the bottom of the feeder.  These attract the beautiful Goldfinches.  In the summer, switch to a hummingbird feeder. You wont attract mice but will attract one of the most interesting birds ever created. Lastly, make sure your seed is in a metal can so that mice or rats cannot get to the bag.

What may be the biggest attraction to birds in your yard though is not even a seed or food. Fresh water, as in a bird bath, if heated so as to not freeze will bring birds in large numbers to enjoy. You can get a heater made for just such a purpose.

Of course, we can always seal your home in CT. and block openings to prevent mice entry. Feel free to call us for any rodent control or with any pest control questions in Connecticut.

Lenny, www.shorelinewildlife.com

 

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