As fall approaches, the cycle of nature dictates the seeds of many native trees. Plants mature and prepare for a dormancy that leads to germination in the spring.
This process is fascinating; some seeds require a period of cold (winter) before they can germinate called cold stratification. Other seed coats need be compromised or “scratched” so that the young plant can emerge in spring.
This is known as scarification. Birds are a key player in this process as seeds pass through their digestive tract and are ‘scarred’ – then exit the bird naturally and are dropped far away from the “mother plant.” Birds instinctually seek out these plants and their seeds.
People occasionally experience a slow down of traffic at their feeders in the fall and the reason is simple: there are ample, natural food supplies around. But feeders never go completely vacant, even in fall.
That’s because birds are also instinctually drawn to meals that will not tax their energy resources…an “easy meal” saves energy, risk of exposure to predators and other dangers, and helps build necessary fat reserves for the coming winter.
Wild Birds Unlimited’s seed mixes (and individual seeds) are designed to target the seed-eating birds of our region; titmice, chickadees, cardinals, finches, sparrows, jays, etc. Even birds normally associated with fruit or insects (catbirds, wrens, mockingbirds, bluebirds, etc.) will “nibble” at seed in the fall wit.
So continue to provide seed-bearing native plants but also keep those feeders filled for best results of bringing all the birds to you. WBU offers Feederscaping Services and Birds Walks, just e-mail Lisa for more information – firstname.lastname@example.org.
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PHOTO CAP: BirdFeeding at its easiest with Seed Cylinders…available in many blends and two sizes!