Tuesday, 10th March 2015
...let’s for a moment think of the popular garden bird visitors: the tits, finches, sparrows, thrushes, Robins, Wrens and that ever so delicate looking Dunnock. I think we will all agree that these birds are the usual suspects to be found in many UK bird gardens. Surely such a diverse range of birds couldn’t all like one bird seed, could they?
Oh yes they could.
If there’s one bird seed for Britain’s garden birds it’s Sunflower Hearts and I would say that’s unquestionably become their favourite. Yes I know that peanuts and Blue Tits are kind of iconic as is that photo of a Blue Tit pecking through the silver top of a milk bottle, delivered by the milk man, but, let’s face it, things have changed (and the peanut isn’t a seed it’s a groundnut of the legume family).
Sunflower Hearts can be fed straight, unmixed. Garden birds will consume them faster than a pet dog could swipe a bacon sandwich off a child’s plate. Actually…come to think of it, that’s not quite true (not the piece about the pet dog!). The irony is that the Sunflower Hearts will be consumed at a lower rate per bird because they contain more calories per 100g and birds – unlike me – only consume the calories they require. This basic arithmetic is the reason why cheap bird foods are generally consumed very quickly, because birds need to consume more bird seed to get the calories they require to survive.
However, having said that I’m going to keep this simple – I’m now going to confuse matters slightly by saying that I prefer to feed Sunflower Hearts as part of a seed mix and that’s because I like to offer variety in my garden, and that seems to work for the birds. The Huskfree Advance mixes are my personal favourites as they leave no mess.
Please let me know if your birds have a favourite bird seed…
Written by Simon H. King