A great start to each week is answering a reader's question and focusing on just the birding information you want to know. This week, Anna from Idaho asks...
"I love feeding my backyard birds, but it's hard to clean up the mess under the feeders when we have a lot of snow. Are there better foods I can use that won't make such a mess, or do you have other suggestions for cleanup? I normally offer mixed birdseed."
Seed hulls and discarded seeds can easily get buried in snow, leaving a mess for spring cleanup, but there are no-waste bird foods you can offer that won't have so much mess, because birds eat all the food and there are no shells to toss out. Suet and hulled sunflower seeds are great options, and both are popular with many types of birds and offer great energy for cold winter weather. For cleanup, you can add a net below your feeder to catch many of the hulls so fewer hit the ground, or move feeders to a deck or patio in winter where cleanup will be easier.
Do you have a birding question you'd like answered? Submit it to Mailbag Monday!
Hulled Sunflower Seeds
Photo © Melissa Mayntz