I had not really ever planned to do a review of Audubon Park Wild Bird Food, but once I looked at the cute photos of my four-year-old Claire re-filling the feeders, I thought, "Why not?"
Being the good Mormon family that we are, we buy a lot of stuff in bulk at Costco...you know, like a three-month supply of everything just in case of natural disaster or the government shutting down our economy. Now, I read somewhere that one should never buy bird seed from the same store from which you can also buy a ginormous bag of toilet paper. (Surely that is just propaganda from the "fifty-bucks-a-bag" birding supply specialty store. Right?) And I've read Birdchick's warning about the low quality often associated with bird seed "on sale".... but, I'm also a cheap S.O.B. (son-in-law of birder). So, when I saw 40 pounds of "premium wild bird seed" for fourteen bucks, I couldn't help myself. I hefted the huge box of bird seed onto the already overflowing cart with so much weight on it the wheels could barely turn. Some $200 later (I love and hate you Costco!), we were on our way home to try out this "value" bird seed on our unsuspecting backyard clients.
I was very impressed upon opening the box and identifying the ingredients...black oil sunflower seed (a must!), white and red millet (pretty standard), shelled peanuts (cool), and sunflower hearts (bonus!). "This looks like quality stuff" I thought as I channeled the inner farmer in me and ran my hand through the seed.
Well the birds are the ultimate judges of the bird seed, and they seem to be enjoying it. Just look at my recent yard list sightings on the sidebar to see some of the birds enjoying the snacks I put out for them. I use this seed in hopper feeders, cage feeders, tube feeders, and platform feeders. The deer tend to sneak in at night and drain the feeders, so my current method is to put out just a cup full on a hanging platform feeder.
The only thing that would make this stuff truly premium wild bird seed would be to have shelled millet and all shelled sunflower seed, thus leaving behind no waste and mess under the feeder. I've not had a chance to see how many millet spouts I get yet either, but who cares! It's all in the "wild" part of my yard dedicated to Bill Thompson III anyway, complete with large brush pile, which I am sure the neighbors love to see through the chain-link fence!
Some of you may be wondering about young Miss Claire's fashion sense. Yes, she does wear her pajamas most of the day - everyday. We've all seen sweet little old ladies in moo-moos putting out seed for the wild birds, haven't we? Claire has already joined their ranks! When I cautioned her not to spill so much seed on the ground, she intelligently quipped, "Daddy, da quails will eat dem."