Bird supplies are important to both casual observers and dedicated professionals alike. You need to keep your stock of bird seed handy for when the feeder runs out, and you need to make sure you have enough nesting material when nesting season comes around. Not only that, but you are going to want to keep a few wild bird books around for those times you have a new visitor to your bird feeders.
Common Bird Supplies
Of all of the bird supplies you are going to buy, bird seed will be the most common. It is hard to keep birds around without something for them to eat, so keep your feeders full; most bird feeders have plexiglas or clear plastic siding, so you can accurately monitor seed levels. Bird seed is usually sold in ten or twenty pound quantities, which often costs less than $25.
For more elaborate meals you can use suet bird feeders. Suet is made from beef fat and you can either buy it from pet shops or make it yourself. Suet is often mixed with seeds, and sometimes it is mixed with peanut butter, which is a favorite of many birds. But one of the finest types of seed you can get for your feeders is Nyjer seeds.
Exclusive Bird Supplies
Nyjer seeds are the only seeds imported to North America, originating near the Niger River in Ethiopia. These long dark seeds have a high fat and oil content, which are important nutrients for birds. Nyjer seeds are more expensive than other seeds, but are a preferred seed of many birds and will go quickly in your feeders.
Purple martins are a bird seen throughout North America, and one of the best to provide bird houses for. Purple martins are insect eaters and are popular in areas that have high insect populations because they actually help keep insect levels low. Purple martin bird houses are usually built to support at least half a dozen different nestings, although there are some that are large enough to house ten or more.
Creative and Amusing Bird Supplies
If you have a bird feeder you know that squirrels can be quite a nuisance. They get into the seeds, help themselves until they’ve had their fill, and scare away many birds. You don’t buy bird supplies so you can feed squirrels and other critters. But you can put a stop to that with squirrel proof bird feeders. You can also use the Yankee Flipper, a bird feeder from Droll that actually uses a motor to spin the perch, “flipping” unwelcome diners from the feeder.
Bird Supplies for the Field
Wild bird books are a terrific resource for observers and back yard enthusiasts alike. There are a number of different species we all know by sight, like the royal red cardinal and the bluebird. But there are dozens of other birds, which will flock to your feeders, you might not readily recognize. Wild bird books help identify most of the species common to North America, with illustrations and photographs, as well as information about their habits and personalities.
If you ever go out into the woods to see birds in their natural habitat, you will notice right away that without a good pair of bird watching binoculars, it is difficult to get a good look or even spot birds at all. Many species are camouflaged, making them difficult to detect in branches. Often the only way you know they are present is by their call, so using binoculars makes it easier to spot them and observe them while keeping a good distance.