They are baaaack! You can have them too!

Friday, October 14, 2011

I've been busily preparing for them for a few weeks now.  I was filling my two feeders with white millet seeds, the favorite food of our most colorful bird native to North America.  They come down beginning in late September and stay until mid April.  Much to my delight, early evening yesterday, I looked through binoculars to my bird feeders in my back yard and saw three Painted Buntings!  Two were the incredibly colorful males and the third was a 'greenie' either an immature male or a female.

Some keys to successfully attracting Painted Buntings to your yard are:

Lots of shrubs and small trees.  I have planted a mini-hammock which includes Simpson stopper (Myrcianthes fragrans), wild sage (Lantana involucrata), Mexican alvaradoa (Alvaradoa amorphoides), fiddlewood (Citharexylum spinosum) and wild tamarind (Lysiloma latisiliquum). Buntings are very shy birds and love to dart in and out of dense plantings.  I placed my feeders on the outside edge of the woods.

A feeder which excludes big birds. I have a Metal Safe Haven bird feeder made by Duncraft.  It is expensive but is very durable and has the capacity for about 6 pounds of seed.  I have had this feeder for about 10 years.  It is worth the investment!  I purchased mine online. Sorry to say this, but many larger birds such as Blue Jays and Grackles are pigs and just push the buntings aside.

Fill the feeder with white millet seeds.  This can be purchased in local feed stores such as Robbies Feed store or OK Feed store, both located in the Redland.  Pet stores may also supply millet.  Be sure to use white millet.





Painted Buntings in the Metal Safe Haven Bird Feeder