Question: I first started feeding birds when I purchased a hummingbird feeder from you at a farmer’s market. Since then I have gotten into feeding birds and now have a small window mounted bird feeder that I use when we travel in our RV and a suet bird feeder you recommended. Now with the economy in bad shape, I’m looking for ways to still feed the birds, but do it in a more economical way. What do you suggest?
Answer: First, please do not switch to a cheap seed mix. Many of these seed mixtures have “filler seed” that make them less expensive, but fewer birds will eat them. Also many of these bird feeds are not cleaned well, so you are purchasing the chaff. Your best bet is to dig the small window feeder out of your RV and attach it to a window where you will enjoy watching the birds. This small feeder will discourage pigeons, jays and most squirrels. Fill them with a small amount of feed at the same time each day. Base the amount of feed on the amount you can spend each day. I realize that you may have birds checking out a empty feeder, but remember that very little of what birds eat actually come from bird feeders, so don’t feel guilty. (See the article “Will Birds Starve If I Stop Feeding Them?”) You will find that you will have the birds waiting for you each morning when you fill the feeders. You may even be scolded if you are late some mornings.
Also, try to purchase bird seed in the largest quantity possible. Pound for pound it is the most economical way. Be sure to store your bird seed in a cool dry place. I use a 20 gallon metal trash can. The birds and I thank you for your continued interest in feeding wild birds.