Seed eating birds often don’t! For many avian species, this can be
compared to the hardtack survival diet that sailors used on voyages
before the invention of refrigeration. This is easily observed by
anyone who feeds the wild birds all year ‘round. During the harsh
months of winter when nothing else is available, hard-billed birds
seek out dry seed to survive. As soon as spring arrives in full, far
fewer outdoor birds visit the feeder. Once nature’s salad bar of
milky fresh seed, fruits, greens, and insects again is again well
stocked, our feathered neighbors prefer those items.
This article outlines some things that we can use for canaries and
finches to try to replace the fresh foods that birds find in the wild
during the best months of the year. Also, as these dietary items are
sold for human consumption, we can have at least some confidence in
the quality. Products sold for animals receive much less scrutiny in
terms of inspections. Indeed, some ingredients in feed are actually
condemned for people.
. . .