What’s hiding in your birdseed mix?

What’s hiding in your birdseed mix?
What’s hiding in your birdseed mix?

Birdfeeders provide a wonderful opportunity to connect with nature. It’s entertaining to watch the various birds interact, recognize repeat visitors, and familiarize yourself with different species.

If you have a birdfeeder in your yard or on your patio, chances are you’ve also noticed that your feathered friends tend to spill some seeds over the sides as they eat. What happens if some of those seeds are from invasive plants?

Invasive plants threaten our local ecosystems, human health, and the economy. They can also be really difficult to get rid of once they’re established in your yard.

Birdseed is largely unregulated in Canada, and retailers are not required to list the contents on their packaging. Unfortunately, this means that invasive plant seeds could easily be hiding in mix.

So what can you do to avoid purchasing birdseed that contains invasive seeds? Here’s a few tips:

  1. Check the ingredient list, if there is one. Not all packages will have an ingredient list, but if it does, make sure that the mix doesn’t contain any invasive plants.
  2. Avoid purchasing a birdseed mix that doesn’t have an ingredient list. You really don’t know what you’re buying, and it could contain invasive seeds.
  3. Create your own mix! You can create your own invasive-free birdseed mix by purchasing ingredients separately, and then combing them together yourself. This is also a neat way to customize the mix in order to attract certain species of birds.
  4. Keep an eye out for suspicious sprouts. Monitor the ground near your birdfeeder for invasive plants, and remove any that you find.
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Invasive seeds that you should avoid purchasing:

Non-invasive seeds that birds enjoy:

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Cracked corn
  • Peanuts
  • Flax seeds
  • Hemp seeds

Please also remember to abide by local bylaws and regulations regarding birdfeeders (potential wildlife attractants) during bear season.

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