Ohio is home to a diverse range of bird species, from the vibrant red Cardinal to the inquisitive American Goldfinch. To attract these beautiful creatures to your garden, it’s essential to provide them with the right type of bird feed. In this blog post, we will discuss the best bird feed for Ohio, as well as tips on how to create a bird-friendly environment in your backyard.
Top Bird Feeds for Ohio
Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
Black oil sunflower seeds are the most popular choice for bird feed in Ohio, thanks to their high oil content, which provides birds with essential energy. These seeds are favorites of species such as the Northern Cardinal, Tufted Titmouse, and White-breasted Nuthatch.
Safflower seeds are another excellent option, particularly if you’re looking to attract the attention of the Northern Cardinal. These seeds have a thick shell that can deter less desirable birds like the House Sparrow and European Starling. Additionally, squirrels are not particularly fond of safflower seeds, making them an ideal choice if you want to keep these critters away from your bird feeders.
Nyjer (Thistle) Seeds
Nyjer seeds are small, black seeds that are perfect for attracting finches, such as the American Goldfinch and Purple Finch. Due to their small size, it’s best to use a specialized feeder, such as a mesh sock or tube feeder with tiny holes, to prevent spillage and waste.
Peanuts are a great source of protein and fat, making them a popular choice for attracting woodpeckers, Blue Jays, and other larger birds. Be sure to use shelled, unsalted peanuts and opt for a mesh peanut feeder to prevent birds from taking large chunks that can be a choking hazard.
Suet is a high-energy food source made from animal fat that’s perfect for insect-eating birds like woodpeckers, nuthatches, and chickadees. Suet cakes are available in various flavors and can be placed in a specialized suet cage or feeder.
Creating a Bird-Friendly Environment
In addition to providing the right bird feed, it’s essential to create a welcoming environment for your feathered visitors. Here are a few tips:
- Provide fresh water: Birds need water for drinking and bathing. Keep a shallow birdbath or basin filled with clean water in your garden.
- Offer natural food sources: Plant native trees, shrubs, and flowers that produce seeds, fruits, and nectar, providing additional food sources for your bird visitors.
- Create nesting sites: Birdhouses and nesting boxes can provide safe places for birds to raise their young. Be sure to choose designs that cater to the specific species you want to attract.
- Keep predators at bay: Place bird feeders and nesting boxes away from areas where predators, like cats, may lurk. Use baffles or other deterrents to prevent squirrels from accessing feeders.
Providing the right bird feed is crucial for attracting a variety of birds to your Ohio garden. By offering a mix of black oil sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, Nyjer seeds, peanuts, and suet, you’ll create an irresistible buffet for your feathered friends. Additionally, don’t forget to provide fresh water and create a bird-friendly environment to encourage long-term visits and help your local bird populations thrive.