Sparrows, tits, chaffinches twirl between your vegetable garden and your orchard. You want to help them by giving them food. Should they be fed all year round? What seeds can you give them? Which bird to attract according to which seeds? Our answers.
A real little aerial ballet of birds takes place before your eyes when you are in your garden. To give them a helping hand that they are satisfiedin addition to their food, here is a list of seeds – which must be unsalted and unroasted -, to be placed on a wooden board or in a manger, high up, to watch them, from a distance, pecking.
The League for the Protection of Birds (LPO) recommends this action only when nature is less generous and food resources are scarcer, between November and March.
During this period, the birds especially need food rich in carbohydrates and fats to better overcome the low temperatures. In summer or in case of high heat, you can deposit them a bowl of water that you will change regularly.
Of American or Mexican origin, sunflower seeds, with a slightly domed ovoid shape, are rich in lipids, proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins B and E, in the form of linoleic acid. There are two categories: striped and black. It is advisable to favor the latter, which is less rich in fat. They are the most used to fill the small rounded belly of granivores, such as tits, finches, nuthatches, woodpeckers, greenfinches or goldfinches.
Coming from Central America, particularly Mexico, corn belongs to the grass family. It is rich in vitamins B and C, fiber, protein and minerals. Its crushed seeds are used to feed sparrows, bullfinches, finches, juncos, white doves and buntings that feed at ground level. Blackbirds prefer corn flakes.
Composed mainly of starch and protein, wheat comes mainly from Europe, North America and the Middle East. Its grains, arranged on a support on the ground to not be in contact with moisture are appreciated by doves, sparrows, bullfinches, pheasants and other pigeons.
Barley, a cereal from the same family as wheat and oats, is rich in soluble fiber and beta-glucan, magnesium, phosphorus and is a source of B vitamins and high energy value, from the grass family. Its seeds, placed on a dry surface on the ground, are the delight of sparrows, pheasants, doves, finches, buntings and pigeons.
Oats, from the grass family, is a cereal native to Asia Minor and Central Europe, which is believed to have been cultivated since around 2500 years BC. A source of protein, carbohydrates, water, amino acids and B vitamins, its seeds are effective in attracting seed-eating birds such as finches and robins.
Native to Africa and Asia, millet seeds, yellow in color, are rich in magnesium, protein, vitamins B and E, minerals and gluten-free. Sparrows, greenfinches, goldfinches, doves, accentors and buntings are fond of it.
Elongated in shape and dark in color, it is renowned for its lightness and finesse. Originally from Africa, it is rich in protein and fat. This explains why it is appreciated by small birds such as goldfinches and juncos.
Chickadees, nuthatches, goldfinches will come to your garden if you put poppy seeds there, black or dark blue in color, originating from the Middle East. They come from the Papaver somniferum plant and are rich in lipids, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and mineral salts, preferably mixed with other seeds.
Watermelon and melon seeds
Watermelon and melon, native to Africa, are from the Cucurbitaceae family. Rich in protein, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, chickadees love watermelon seeds, while sparrows will love melon seeds, which are rich in fiber and vitamins A and C.
Moreover, it is possible to make mixtures of these seeds, avoiding the incorporation of flax or castor seeds which are poisonous or those that are artificially colored.