Sunday, January 11, 2009

Feed The Birds

I love birds. Anyone that knows me, knows that. And I feed the birds.

Over the years I have learned a few things that work for me, and as is my style, I just can't keep it to myself. ;)

First, birdseed germinates wherever it falls, and if it weren't in seed form, we would call it weeds. This is generally not considered lovely when it happens in your lawn.

You can sterilize the seed so that most of it will not germinate. I have searched and found conflicting reports as to whether or not this changes the nutritional character of the seed. My observations over several years, is that the birds love it. They flock to my yard. I think they think it is an especial treat to have nice tasty roasted seed. I did find a scholarly article that suggested this style, too, so I really do feel confident that roasting is a healthy method. Oh yes, that, and we are told that roasted seed and nuts are nutritious for us, so I have that argument on my side as well!

How to Sterilize Birdseed

  • Place your wild birdseed in a deep ovenproof pan, I use a 16 X 3 inch cake pan.
  • Roast in 300 degree Fahrenheit oven for 2 1/2 hours

That's it! I leave it in the oven while it cools, for good measure. Very little will germinate, and the house smells nice and nutty while it roasts.

Hummingbird Food Recipe

Hummingbird food is quick, easy, and inexpensive to make. I can't imagine why you would want to buy the packaged stuff! You probably already have white sugar in the kitchen!

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • Combine in saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil.
  • Lower heat and simmer till sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Continue to simmer for just a couple of minutes. (You are making a very thin syrup)
  • Cool and fill feeder

Food Coloring is not a natural ingredient and is said to be both unnecessary and especially, unhealthy for the birds. It's true that they are attracted to the color, but the feeder will have red on it for that purpose.

Of course, this recipe makes 4 cups of food, but the point is, it's a 1 : 4 ratio {1 part sugar to 4 parts water}. Same directions for preparation. You can make exacty the amount that your feeder will hold.

Go out and make your yard a birdie diner! Enjoy the results and the sweet company!

No comments:

Post a Comment