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What do trail mix and feeding birds have in common?

Imagine a bowl of trail mix in front of you. Assuming no nut allergies, you may be faced with peanuts, cashews, dried fruit, sunflower seeds, and M&Ms. Many people “high-grade,” sifting through and picking out favourites and leaving the rest behind. I know I end up eating a lot of peanuts and sunflower seeds if my wife and son have beaten me to the mix!

Now, imagine being REALLY hungry, standing outside in -35°C weather, and trying to do the same thing with fingers so cold they can barely move.

This is what birds are faced with when we fill our feeders with big-box-store-bulk bird feed. Although they appear to be a good deal, these bird feeds are chock-full of fillers that birds simply can’t or don’t eat, which forces them to sort through and find the things they can and do. Plus, with many of these bulk feeds, the sunflower seeds are poor-quality “duds” with smaller, if any seed within the shell. Imagine the disappointment after taking the time to find the sunflower seed, open it, and discover it’s empty (remember, it’s also -35°C out). AND, many of the large-scale seed producers are not organic or non-GMO, and/or use pesticides containing neonicotinoids, which are considered culprits in the declines in the populations of both pollinator insects and the birds that eat them.

Here’s where we come in!

Just as we pride ourselves in supporting Canadian artists and carrying high-quality products, we are equally proud of the quality of bird food we carry. Ours is non-GMO, neonic-free, high-quality (including larger seeds in a greater proportion of sunflower shells). We also include feeds with pre-shelled (hulled) seeds to reduce the time and energy birds need to spend accessing precious calories in cold weather. All of this contributes to healthier birds with potentially higher survival rates through the coldest months.

This is true of our suet, as well. Our supplier, Mill Creek, is an expert in making top-quality suet that’s shipped all over Canada (we’ve even had requests to ship to the US!).

Feeder manufacturer, Brome, produced a 2-minute video about Mill Creek suet. A couple of years ago, they released a Squirrel Buster suet feeder that holds 2 suet cakes and is guaranteed for life. We throw in two cakes for free with the purchase of one of these beauties! You can learn check out the Squirrel Buster suet feeder in action in this 2-minute YouTube video by Brome.

Also, a quick reminder that it’s important to clean feeders regularly throughout the year to help prevent illness or death from moldy or rotten food. Check out Garden Gate Episode 123 for a quick review of feeder cleaning practices.

Good news! Seed prices dropped a bit in October. Remember to sign up for our Buy 12, Get One Free program…