We got a shipment of Cole’s Wild Bird Feed for the RainyDayGarden just before the Holidays. As the temperature had been relatively warm, we had been putting out just the seeds and not the suets. However, the forecast for the coming week is for snow and much lower temperatures and we thought it best to give our feathered friends a bit of extra energy to help them deal with the cold. On frigid nights, birds expend a lot of energy to generate heat in order to keep warm. This depletes their reserves and stresses their body, weakening their immune systems, and making them more susceptible to disease. Food-scarce winter conditions make it a challenge for them to replenish their energy store.
Suet is made from fat and is a high energy food that provides the crucial fuel needed by wintering birds to survive the cold. It is also a source of essential vitamins such as Vitamins A, D, E, and K. For the birds visiting the RainyDayGarden, we have the following selection of suets from Cole’s:
- Suet Pearls
- Suet Nuts
- Suet Kibbles
- Special Feeder Suet Cake
- Hot Meats Suet Cake
- Blue Ribbon Blend Suet Cake
It did not take long for a Starling and a Blue Jay to discover the Suet Pearls. After a bit of discussion, the Blue Jay “convinced” the Starling to come back later. The Blue Jay, probably sensing that it was not the last time he would hear from the Starling, decided it was better to take a few pearls with him and go elsewhere to eat.
However, the easy eating did not last as the starlings returned in large numbers and crowded all the other birds off the platform. Dainty birds the starlings are not. It was a little alarming and felt a bit Hitchcockian.
All the birds seem to really like Cole’s Suet Pearls. What we put out was gone in a matter of minutes. We will probably not use the platform feeder again for this type of food, as the starlings will just crowd out all of the other birds (and we do not really want to feed the starlings anyway). We will also put out feed at different times of the day to let the smaller birds have a chance to get some before the starlings get wind of the fresh food in the feeders.