Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Enchanted Garden is Back!!

I'm back! Just a little hiatus from blogging. But, never fear The Enchanted Garden is here with bits of wisdom about gardening, nature and dumb stuff I do. Lets get right to it. Lets talk about feeding the birds.

In the winter, feeding the birds can be a matter of life and death for them. Natural food supplies such as insects and fruits are non-existent so setting out food for the birds provides the ticket to their survival.

If you have started feeding the birds, or if you are frustrated by a lack of success in attracting winter birds to your feeders, the first thing you need to do is determine whether you are feeding the right foods for the birds of the area. If you are not giving the birds what they want, you might not have many birds.

Here are the top ten foods for winter bird feeding:

·       Black-oiled Sunflower Seeds
·       Niger Thistle
·       Peanuts
·       Suet
·       Safflower
·       Cracked Corn
·       Fruit
·       Meal Worms (dead or alive)
·       Good Mixed Seed
·       Homemade treats

    Is there such a thing as BAD mixed seed? Heck ya! Bad mixed seed has lots of filler in it—junk seeds that most birds won’t eat. Bad mixed seed can include dyed seed meant for pet birds, wheat, and some forms of red milo. Good mixed seed has a large amount of sunflower seed, cracked corn and perhaps some peanut hearts or safflower. The really cheap bags of mixed seed sold at grocery stores can contain the least useful seeds. If you want to try different types of seed, may I suggest visiting Lost Creek in Mineola. Sandy Tibbs has a wide variety of seed just for the birds in our area and she is very knowledgeable!

If you are lazy like me, you can try one of my no fail methods. Smear peanut butter on a tree trunk, and poke some peanut bits into it. Try feeding suet and offer it all winter long. Suet attracts many insect-eating birds, such as woodpeckers. But nuthatches, juncos, chickadees, wrens, cardinals, sparrows and jays will also stop at backyard feeders for a high-fat treat. True suet, and especially the kind made with animal fat, provides a good source of energy and builds fat reserves needed during the cold.
Be sure to fill your feeders daily, preferable in the late afternoon to give the birds a boost before they roost at night. A few days of empty feeders means the birds will quickly disappear.

Place your feeders at varying heights and locations especially near trees and shrubs. Trees and shrubs provide protection from predators.

Provide a variety of foods.

Be sure to keep your feeders clean.

Now, lets talk gardening. I am happy to report that I am now taking Master Gardening classes. Hopefully the Enchanted Garden blog will take on more of a garden flavor but will keep nature posts too! We will see. Our first two classes are on soil. What? How long does it take to learn about dirt????

Ann Reynolds


  1. I always enjoy your blog and the photos! Very informative, thank you! Eva C.

  2. I enjoyed my Master Gardening course, however, it was over 15 years ago, so maybe I need to take a refresher! I loved your bird pictures.
    Thanks for linking up at OVER THE MOON Link Party.
    :) gwingal

  3. Love natures medicine. Great blog