As the days of early fall shorten and nighttime temperatures drop, the specie mix and activity levels at many backyard bird feeders change as well. It is an important time of year to keep a steady supply of seed available to your avian visitors. Some of the feeder visits you are observing may not be about today’s nutritional requirements. Many of the seedeaters of the northeast are known food hoarders.
Woodpeckers, nuthatches, titmice, chickadees, and jays will gather seeds and hide them for later, winter consumption. The storage site is referred to as a cache. Seeds “saved for a wintery day” may be hidden under leaves, wedged into the cracks of tree bark, or tucked in the junctions of tree boughs and branches. Studies have shown that these species have an amazing ability to remember where the caches are located. Aspen Song Woodpecker and Chickadee mixes make ideal offerings for the food hoarders. Both mixes are rich in black oil and black stripe sunflowers, peanuts, and tree nuts. These seeds all keep well and provide important nutrition in later times of high energy requirements. They are also favorite seeds of these species. Aspen Song Chickadee food works well in a ball-type feeder, such as a Cling-A-Wing Feeder, that has no perches. The acrobatic members of the arboreal family of birds will have no problem clinging to such a feeder as they gather seeds for wintertime. An ideal feeder for Aspen Song Woodpecker food is Aspects’ Peanut Silo with its stainless steel wire mesh. Woodpeckers readily cling to the tube and easily extract nuts and sunflowers from the feeder. Remember to keep the feeders filled at this important time of year and you will be assisting some very resourceful species in anticipating the coming winter months.