There are approximately 5 million of us who enjoy backyard bird watching to some degree and it’s hard to watch and observe without scattering a few seeds. As a mater of fact, according to the 2014 Wild Bird Feeding Industry research, 3 million Americans bought bird seed totaling $6.3 billion.
Since money – and birdseed – doesn’t grow on trees, we birders need to get the most bang for our bucks. I have found that Valley Splendor Wild Bird Food – the Supreme Blend – is the best value on the market. It is high quality, with no wasted fillers, and it attracts just about every backyard bird there is.
A word about birdseed. Stores often offer a low-cost product – maybe 5 pounds for $4.99, or similar pricing. All the inexpensive brands contain a seed called red milo.
Milo, also known as sorghum, is large and bulky and is much less expensive than other seeds. Milo is often used as a filler in bulk commercial seed mixes, making the blend less of a value because much of the seed will be wasted. Most birds don’t eat milo. They scratch it out of the way, it falls and accumulates on the ground and attracts rats, mice and other non-desirables. If birds won’t eat half the seed, that makes it twice as expensive. So avoid the inexpensive mixes and buy quality birdseed.
Back to the Supreme Blend. I find it at Sam’s Club at around $20 for a 40-pound bag. The blend contains black oil sunflower seeds, white millet, safflower, sunflower chips, peanuts, calcium carbonate and raisins. All of my birds will eat at least one of the seeds in the blend and it’s excellent for both feeders and ground scattering. I like to scatter some seeds for the birds, those that may shy away from feeders – the doves and sparrows, for example. I have even observed that cardinals prefer seeds on the ground to seeds in the feeders when given the choice.
To get maximum value, look for the Valley Splendor label and avoid the cheap seeds. Your birds – and your pocket book – will thank you for it.