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  • John Sterling Poole

Ground Feeding and Feeders



I think we can all agree that we want as many birds at our feeders as possible. We can do tons of research into different foods, feeders, houses, baths, accessories, but sometimes we can overlook the simplest feeding techniques: ground feeding. A lot of bird feeders are constructed to simulate natural settings, but a lot of people forget that birds can eat in their natural setting. This post is going to cover two things: ground feeding and sparrows. The two go hand in hand luckily for us and it is very easy/cost-effective to ground feed the sparrows.



Some popular ground feeders are doves, (squirrels unfortunately), pigeons, blackbirds, and sparrows. While these birds are sometimes not wanted in yards as a lot of them are territorial, they all play an important role in your ecosystem. These birds dig around for food naturally on the floor. We can make their job easier by grabbing a handful of feed and spreading it out across our lawns! However, the only food you should spread out is sunflower seeds and millet. Those are really the only seeds that ground feeders will look for. Sometimes they’ll eat safflower and tree nuts on the lawn, but these can sometimes sit around for quite a long time. I would recommend using no-mess feeds for ground feeding. No-mess foods are already shelled so you don’t have to worry about the mess left behind. But, more importantly, no-mess seeds will not sprout in your lawn!



There are feeders that are designed for ground feeders. Some actually sit on the ground while others can be accessories on your feeder stations. Tray feeding is a great way to draw in ground feeder as they simulate the open area. Tray feeding also catches any fallen seeds/food from feeders above, making sure your feed gets eaten! Lastly, tray feeding offers great views of the birds. They are low maintenance and a lot of them are made out of recycled plastic which means they will last forever!



Now almost everyone’s favorite ground feeder is the sparrow! A lot of sparrows migrate into this area for the winter, so now is a great time to draw these little guys in. All you need is to spread a handful of millet out onto the ground! It is really as easy as that. The sparrows (and most customers) prefer hulled millet as it saves them time with feeding. They don’t have to waste any time removing the hull from the seeds. Chipping sparrows are particularly fun to attracts as they have a wonderful collage of browns in their feathers. They also are adorably small. Some customers will notice sparrows on seed characters or tube feeders. This is almost always because of the millet. Luckily for us, millet is pretty cheap!



If you are hoping to attract more birds to your yard, consider ground feeding! It is easy, cheap, and natural for the birds. You can attract a wide variety of feathered friends through this easy feeding, but you can also get the wintering sparrows into your yard! Check out our tray feeders and millet products next time you’re in the store!


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