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Tuesday, December 6, 2011


The mountain chickadee and nuthatch are feeder friendly eaters. They will fly in and take one single sunflower seed and fly off to eat it. We therefore put out two feeders. One we put hen scratch in for the stellar Jays, and the other for the chickadees and nuthatch with sun flower seeds.

But then there are the greedy birds that flock together. Like the rose finch which come in sometimes in flocks of a couple hundred at a time. Or the gross beaks with large flocks. They will empty the feeders in a few minutes and leave poop all over the deck with all the shells. They also crowd the other birds out and keep them from feeding.

So when we see one of those flocks come in we run out to bring the sunflower feeder inside. I have watched the finches empty that feeder in less than 5 minutes. At $32.00 for a bag of sunflower seeds those guys could bankrupt us in a hurry. The hen scratch for the other feeder is one third the cost of the sunflower seeds. We love to feed the birds but when it comes to feeding gluttons who take advantage of the feed and with it being so expensive we clearly draw the line.


Patricia said...

As I read your post I couldn't help but think that the animal world is not that different from the human world.

Bruce said...

You make a profound observation and you are right.

Raylene said...

What is in Hen Scratch?---I recall hearing my Mom speak of it but don't know what it is--I am guessing it is not much good seed and a whole lot of filler.

I have been buying a rather high priced, over packaged seed that does bring in some pretty decent birds around here. I put it out only when I am going to be home to enjoy what comes in. I have started tossing out what little "garbage" food I have to the birds/et my apple core and the like.

Bruce said...

Hen scratch is usually bought in 50# bags from a farm or feed store. It has cracked corn, millet and a host of seeds that I don't know what they are. The birds love it and one bag costs less than the specialized bird seeds bought at stores. You can also put your turkey carcass outside for the birds if it still has meat on it. They will pick it clean. We put apples and oranges out for them as a treat on occasion. Chickens are a bird and they love hen scratch, so do our birds.