Time to Try Tidy Dining

Admittedly, birds can be finicky and messy.

Just watch them at your feeders. Most birds will use their bills to sweep through the food in a feeder to find the one seed they think is the best to eat. They don't seem to mind that all the other seed is being spilled onto the ground for you to clean up!

Here are some tips to help avoid this messy scenario and to turn your birds into tidier dinner guests.

Rule number one for tidy feeding: avoid using bargain seed blends. They often contain large amounts of cereal grain fillers like red Milo and wheat, seeds that birds don't like to eat and most of which ends up on the ground. By using a high-quality food, less of it will be rejected and left under the feeder.

Any remaining spillage can be kept from falling to the ground by placing a tray beneath the feeder. Round trays are perfect to attach to seed tube feeders and rectangular trays are perfect for hopper feeders. Trays also provide a surface to attract birds that usually avoid elevated feeders and typically feed only on the ground.

We recommend using a bird food that is out of the shell such as sunflower chips, or a blend of shelled seeds such as Wild Birds Unlimited No-Mess Blends. Hulled foods leave much less mess and debris below feeders and are especially well suited for use around patios and decks.

Another food we recommend for tidy feeding is cylinders. Held together by gelatin, the seeds cannot be scattered on the ground when your birds feed.

We encourage you to try our tidy dining suggestions so you can spend more time watching the birds and less time cleaning up after them.