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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Don't unknowingly pay for weeds when you buy birdseed.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak
A recent university study examined ten popular brands of birdseed and found that half of them contained seeds of at least six species of weeds. Not only are you paying for the weed seeds unknowingly, but they’re likely to sprout and spread in your yard, and wild birds rarely eat them.
From my experience, the merchants most guilty of selling weed seeds mixed in with real birdseed are the grocery stores or "big box" stores, where "low price" is king, and quality is not considered. 

A sense of accomplishment     If you’re putting up a birdhouse especially for woodpeckers, try putting a too-small entrance hole in it (less than 2“). Three reasons: 1. it forces the woodpecker to peck to enlarge the hole – a key part of their courtship behavior,  2. the small hole keeps starlings from taking over the box,  3. it’s easy to see if a woodpecker is interested, just by looking for signs of pecking.

          You can also accomplish this with a birdhouse you buy, just by fastening a thin piece of wood or cardboard (with a too-small hole) over the real hole.




OWEN YOST, in addition to being a blogger, is a licensed Landscape Architect emeritus who has lived and worked in north Texas for over 30 years. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award of the Native Plant Society of Texas, and is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Federation of Landscape Architects, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. His office is at in Denton.



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