If you’ve owned an outdoor bird seed feeder, you’ve endured the patch of grass that grows under the feeder. This grass is caused by a common seed found in birdseed known as millet. Millet is a favorite snack of finches, sparrows, blackbirds, pigeons and doves.
The 10 noxious weeds were buffalobur, bull thistle, Canada thistle, common ragweed, dodder, field bindweed, jointed goatgrass, kochia, puncturevine , and velvetleaf (a relatively new weed in Oregon that was found mostly growing under bird feeders).
How Does Bird Seed Get Planted? While birds are feeding, at bird feeders hanging at various homes and businesses, some seeds spill onto the ground. Other seeds consumed by birds are not digested. These seeds land onto the ground wherever the bird happens to be when it defecates.
You can use leftover birdseed for household activities like composting, feeding outdoor bird species, and making heat bags. Although you can use leftover birdseed, it’s vital to ensure they haven’t gone bad first.
Can I just throw bird seed out on the ground in my yard? Yes, you can throw bird seed out on the ground. Many birds will eat seed on the ground. But it could become messy, attract pests, and harm the birds if not done with some planning and forethought.
Birdseed, usually a mixture of sunflower, safflower, corn and millet seeds, will germinate readily if not cleaned up after the birds finish their meal. Sprouting birdseed pops up like weeds anywhere it lands, including your flowerbed or vegetable garden.
Many of the plants that grow from birdseed can be classified as weeds. In fact, Oregon State University warns that birdseed is known for creating weed infestations.
A: All seeds used in bird food (millet, wheat, corn, sunflower, peanut, etc.) are delectable to birds, squirrels, and chipmunks. If the seeds sprout, you’ll get more of the same. To my knowledge, all of these plants would be edible by humans.
The seeds of grass weeds were found in 76% of the bird seed mixes and included three species of foxtail (Setaria spp.), as well as other common grasses like large crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis) and barnyardgrass (Echinochloa crus-galli).
Even a well-maintained lawn can encounter crabgrass at some point. Birds may carry the seeds onto your lawn; the wind can also deposit crabgrass seeds throughout your property.
Also, because Nyjer is related to thistle and could germinate into noxious weeds, the U.S. Department of Agriculture requires it to be heat-sterilized before sale. If it is heated at too high a temperature or for too long, those essential oils might be dried before the seed is even packaged.
Birds primarily use vision, their sense of sight, to locate food. Birds may see seeds that they recognize as food in your feeder. But to do so, they have to be pretty close.
Plastic tree guard around and under the bird feeder area. It’s really that simple. Just lay the tree ring down around the bird feeder area. If using landscape fabric, cut a round piece of it and place it around the bird feeder area.
Nyjer thistle is a small black seed favored by birds such as finches, juncos and pine siskins. Quality nyjer thistle is typically heated so it won’t sprout. If a few plants do sprout, they rarely grow to a mature plant in North America.
Sunflower seeds are the easiest type of birdseed to grow. You can plant seeds directly from your birdseed supply or purchase different varieties of sunflower seeds from nurseries and gardening centers (take care to purchase flower types noted for producing abundant seeds, as some hybrids do not).
Yes, birdseed can rot, and birders who understand the different ways birdseed can spoil can be better prepared to offer their backyard birds healthy, nutritious food.
You can feed birds all year round. The one exception is if you live in bear country. If you have bears, stop feeding birds when bears come out of hibernation. But, of course, you may stop feeding birds whenever you get tired of it!
Yes, you can compost the birdseed, but if it does not get hot enough, you may get some germination. But, if you are an expert at composting, then that should not be a problem. Bird seeds are essentially protein and should be composted readily.
There are a variety of animals that will eat birdseed at night. In the USA the main culprits are rodents, squirrels, chipmunks, skunks, opossum, raccoons, deer, and bears. These animals are opportunistic eaters and bird feeders are an easy food source especially when supplies are scarce.
Bird seed is more likely to attract insects in the summer heat, so this is when you must keep it cool and use it up quickly. I often put small bird seed bags and bird food cylinders in the freezer during the summer.
Species – Different birds will prefer either seed or suet. Woodpeckers, wrens, thrashers, bluebirds, and mockingbirds tend to favor suet when it is available, while sparrows, finches, redpolls, and grosbeaks tend to favor seed. Many birds, however, enjoy both seed and suet, such as chickadees, nuthatches, and jays.