There’s something to be said about eating like a bird, especially if that food is scientifically designed to provide birds with the healthiest possible diet. That’s the intent behind these two exclusive birdseed blends from the Canadian Wildlife Federation. Designed by Canada’s foremost wildlife nutritionist for the ecological conditions and nutritional needs of birds in Canada, these blends contain no low quality feeds like wheat, milo and corn. Instead, you get a high quality mix containing seeds rich in the unsaturated fats and fatty acids birds seek. Attract the songbirds you love with the food they’ll love. Look for CWF birdseed at participating LEE VALLEY locations.
CWF's Songbird Medley
CWF’s Songbird Medley attracts a rich variety of smaller songbirds and helps reduce conflict with larger birds at the feeder. “Backyard birds can only meet their energy needs from body fat for one to four days, and smaller birds can use 75 per cent of their fat stores overnight, so it’s critical they get the right foods,” says Deb McWilliams, Canada’s foremost wildlife nutritionist. “This Canadian Wildlife Federation bird seed, high in unsaturated fats, is designed to meet their needs year-round.” CWF’s Songbird Medley contains no fillers such as corn, wheat, milo or grains as these ingredients do not provide the amount or spectrum of fatty acids birds need.
This blend is perfect for smaller songbirds all year round, whether they are over-wintering, breeding/nesting, moulting, or migrating!
Ingredients: niger, canola, peanut chips, flax, millet, sunflower chips
CWF’s Vibrance for larger sized colourful songbirds attracts more of the beautiful birds you want and keeps them coming back. “Wild birds in Canada preferentially seek and eat seeds and nuts highest in unsaturated fat, and they select for a very specific range of fatty acids within those foods,” says Deb McWilliams, Canada’s foremost wildlife nutritionist. “This seed by the Canadian Wildlife Federation is based upon wild bird feeding ecology to supplement the dietary requirements for these types of wild birds in Canadian conditions. CWF’s seed blend has been designed to incorporate these factors to attract the most birds”
* No fillers such as corn, wheat, milo or grains are included as these ingredients do not provide the amount or spectrum of fatty acids needed.
This blend is perfect for medium and large songbirds all year round including over-wintering, breeding/nesting, moulting, and migrating!
Ingredients: black oil sunflower, peanut pieces, safflower, striped sunflower.
Different Foods Attract Different Birds
Birds are different shapes, sizes and colours and each prefers different types of food. The best way to attract a wide variety of birds is to provide an assortment of food at several different feeders. For example, the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s Songbird Medley is designed to attract small song birds such as finches and warblers. The small seeds in this mix work best in platform-type feeders or in feeders with small screens to prevent spillage.
CWF’s Vibrance bird feed is designed to attract medium to large birds. Used in different feeders these seed blends can help reduce conflict at the feeders among large and small birds.
Spreading some seed on the ground is a simple way to start! Just be sure to place the seed far away from places where cats can hide.
Most birds will use a platform feeder so installing one will help attract many different birds. Birds that like to feed on the ground, like juncos and sparrows, will also use platform feeders that allow better protection from predators. These feeders are easy to make but leave seeds open to the elements. Bird droppings or rain can cover the seed in soil. Be sure to clean the platform regularly and replace your seed every couple of days.
Hopper feeders are generally box-shaped and dispense seeds by gravity. They keep seed clean, dry and readily available even in a snowstorm. Features to look for are visibility of seed level, ability to hold a good quantity of seed, ease of mounting and ease of access for cleaning. If you’re looking for a hopper feeder made of wood, weather-resistant cedar is a good choice. Hopper feeders can hold a lot of seed, which is convenient. They do, however, provide easy access for squirrels.
There are many styles available. These tubes keep seed dry, prevent bird droppings in the seed and reduce squirrels from getting the seed. The perches are usually small and so attract small birds like finches and chickadees but discourage larger birds. Before filling a tube feeder be sure to empty uneaten seed at the bottom.
Where to Place my Feeder and Other Related Tips
- Place bird feeders near trees or shrubs – preferably evergreen – to provide birds with shelter.
- Consider year-round access for refilling.
- Keep feeders away from decks as spilled seeds can attract rodents.
- Use feeders with large trays to prevent spills and clean up seeds that do spill.
- Place feeders in locations visible from your windows so you can enjoy the visitors you attract but remember to leave four metres and to use reflectors, stickers, drapes, paper or foil streamers to reduce collisions
- To attract a diversity of birds put out a variety of feeders.
- Separate food types and feeders to help give smaller birds a chance to eat without being scared away by larger birds.
Suet is a high energy food for chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers and other insect-eating birds that appreciate a source of animal fat in winter. You can either buy commercially made suet or make your own.
- Coated wire suet holders can be placed in a variety of locations and birds will not get caught in them.
- If you are buying suet, look for one with high sunflower and niger seeds to balance the saturated and unsaturated fats birds need.
- To make your own suet, buy raw beef fat or suet from the butcher, grind it up and mix it with seeds or dried fruit. Store it in the freezer.
- You can use a wide variety of treats when making suet, including acorns, chopped nuts, seeds and fresh chopped fruit. Experiment to see what your birds like the most.
- You should remove old suet from feeders in warm weather to prevent it from going rancid.
- Hang the suet feeder from a branch or on a dead tree. Placing it on the trunk of a live tree can invite invasions by tree-damaging insects and fungi.
- Suet should not be tied with string as birds can get their feet tangled up.
- In the summer commercially prepared suet should be placed in the shade, cleaned frequently and returned to the fridge overnight.
Bird Feeder Pests
Feeders can also attract some less welcome species. Examine your feeding strategy and consider adjustments based on what is attracting the problem.
- Avoid mixes with a high proportion of hulled oats, rice, peanut hearts, corn, millet or wheat that can attract pigeons, racoons or squirrels.
- Use specially adapted feeders – weight sensitive or with a metal cage – that allow smaller birds to feed but keep out most large birds and squirrels.
- Place feeders on posts with a baffle underneath. A baffle is a disc or cone designed to keep squirrels from climbing the pole.
- Use metal feeders to prevent squirrels from chewing and damaging your feeder.
- Don’t place feeders on decks where spilled seed can attract rodents.
- Store seed in rodent-proof containers.
- Use feeders with large trays or higher edges to keep feed from falling to the ground. Clean spilled seed from underneath feeders.
- Keep cats indoors. Domestic cats are predators that hunt instinctively even when not hungry. Free-roaming cats have a serious impact on bird populations and often take advantage of bird feeding areas.
- Place feeders and bird baths farther than pouncing distance from dense shrubbery or other places where cats can hide. Provide shelter beyond this distance to help birds hide from predators.
- Stop feeding birds for a while if you have serious problems with pests. Realize that limiting access for problem species may also hinder desirable species with similar feeding habits.