Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Invasive Seed Alert

Most Gardeners feed their avian friends. If you choose to supplement their diet with bird seed, do you really know what you are feeding them??   (And don't just feed them in the winter! Birds can become dependent on the food you provide for them. Especially as their natural habitat dwindles. So it's a good idea to keep the feeders filled year round.) 

The seeds of more than 50 weed species have been identified in several brands of wild bird feed. The seedlings which come up underneath the feeder are easy to control but what about the ones that are spread by the birds through their droppings? Oregon has taken legislative action against the sale of bird food containing viable weed seeds. And many other states are attempting to apply animal feed regulations.
But we the consumer (so to speak) need to become pro-active! Choose feed that won't sprout - peanuts, berries, sunflower hearts. Or incorporate more native plant species into your landscape to provide food for our little feathered friends!


hamiltonbrown said...

i am also thinking about this problem of creating illness by these pigeons, as pigeon control is must for the safety of kids also.
birds control

Zan Asha said...

Wow, Jeanne, I didn't know about that! Great info! Thank you! :)

Mother's Moon's Message said...

a good post and also suggestion. I am an avid bird feeder yet some time back I switched to strictly sunflower seeds. Also as you suggested I have planted several bushes and flowers over the years that will attract as well as feed them...

Jeanne said...

There's really no way of knowing what seed is in most feed, since the manufacturers don't always label the seed types. Look for bird seed that has been treated or baked to prevent weed germination. Here's two links for more info.