Question: I love feeding the birds over the winter. I have several feeders set up. The problem is, I've noticed the price of seed has really gone up and I'm getting frustrated because squirrels and blackbirds are eating most of it. I don't mind spending for the little birds, but I can't stand these bullies and scavengers. Any advice?
Answer: Try filling your feeders with safflower seed instead of sunflower seed or mixed seeds. Safflower seeds are small white seeds enjoyed by cardinals, grosbeaks, chickadees, finches, titmice (shown, tufted titmouse), nuthatches and other favorite birds. Squirrels, blackbirds and grackles do not like the bitter taste of safflower seeds. It's also one of the cheaper birdseeds you can find.
For best results, switch over gradually—by offering a mix of safflower and whatever you have been putting out—so your favorite birds can adjust to the new taste.
If you love birds and building things, check out Birdhouses You Can Build in a Day, with 51 projects for all different kinds of birds
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