I started off quite modestly when I first started feeding my feathered friends. I bought some nyjer seed, BOSS and made nectar for the hummingbirds. All was well until the house sparrows and squirrels took over my yard and then I stopped feeding all together.
I started feeding again this late fall and started off modestly again, but all of that has since changed. This is what I have in my feeders now.
Black Oil Sun Flower Seed
Sunflower Heart Chips
Suet (both raw and made by me with lard and peanut butter)
Shelled peanut halves in a feeder
Whole peanuts in a shell on the ground
This is my occasional food
Fruit-Right now I have fresh blueberries and strawberries that are perched in the tree being held by an old clementine box.
Bread and dog kibble. This is for when I see seagulls and crows in my yard. I can't help but to feed them. They fly around my yard searching for food and they look so hungry. Out I go with the bread and dog kibble and they dive down and have a quick meal. They leave immediately afterwords and I won't see them again until the next early morning. They are the eat and run type I guess.
I also have my heated bird bath that gets filled with fresh water daily. All of this food management has since turned into a part time job. I spend on average 15 minutes a day preparing the bird food in their proper containers and then going out there to fill up the numerous feeders.
One must never forget the natural food that we can provide for wild life as well. I have my mulberry tree that brings me scores of birds in May, my wild blackberry that the cat birds devour, poke berries that I allow to fruit, the privet that the robins inhale and all of the weeds I allow to go to seed each fall. This is not enough you see because I planted holly this past summer and plan on planting two crab apple trees this spring. My end goal is all fruit that lasts through the winter so the birds have even more food especially when it's at its most scarce.
Well enough about me, how about you. What is it you offer to the birds. If you garden for wild life, what has been your most successful plantings as far as appetizing treats for birds and other critters. I would love to hear input from others because I need more ideas, especially when it comes to wild life gardening.