Sunday, May 22, 2011
“Locavore” Birds. Grow your own Birdseed
Are we being a bit unrealistic about this business of buying bird seed? I don’t quite understand all this farmland devoted to growing bird seed. I assume that the farmer has to prevent birds from ruining his crop. So, all and all, I don’t think that we are truly helping the birds this way. Instead, we are bringing them to our yard for our own selfish pleasure and depriving them of habitat somewhere else.
If we really wanted to feed birds in our backyards we should grow our own birdseed, rather than buying it from other sources.
I know that bird seed has become a big business in recent years. It was a very good idea at the beginning and feeding the birds continues to be an educational tool that helps people appreciate wildlife. But perhaps it has gone too far. What we really need right now is to start growing plants beneficial to birds in our own backyards: the ultimate in “eating locally”.
I began to ask myself these questions and soon realized that I am not the first one. I simply googled “grow bird seed” and found out people who grow gardens from bird seed. I also found those who despair because spilled seed keeps growing where it isn’t wanted. They seem to miss the irony on feeding the birds and fighting against growing bird seed. “Buy only shelled seed”, “nuke it in the microwave oven” they say.
Fortunately the ones that choose to grow bird seed have a lot of good advice, from discussing the benefits of growing only native seeds to the money saving aspects of such gardening. I am sure that a little planning would be very helpful. Not all the bird seed that you buy will grow in your area and not all would look pretty in your garden, but there are some that can really enhance the beauty of your garden, plus being beneficial to pollinators as well as birds.
Yes, let us grow our own bird seed! Let our visiting birds become locavores!
Feed the birds with native plants
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