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Birds wasting the milo in my bird feeders

Posted by wasabi_va 7 (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 17, 11 at 10:17

I am new to feeding and attracting wild birds to my yard (Virginia) and only recently put up a nice feeder. After a few weeks I am noticing a significant increase in birds in my yard. I bought a 20 lb. bag of wild bird seed mix (Pennington brand) and have been good about keeping the feeder filled.

But I am noticing the birds seems to be separating out the milo seed and not eating it. I have a bunch of it collecting on the ground under my feeder. The seed mix I buy seems to use milo as a large % of the bag so I may be wasting my money on this type of mix. Is it common for wild birds to reject the milo?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Birds wasting the milo in my bird feeders

This is very common, and unfortunately many wild bird mixes have a lot of milo because it's so inexpensive. Birds know that it offers little in the way of nutritional value.

Spend a little more on black sunflower seeds or a mix that contains little of the cheap filler.

Do you have a finch feeder? Those gold finches are something else!

RE: Birds wasting the milo in my bird feeders

You will also attract birds you don't want like House Sparrows (HOSP) with the cheap feed. Black Oil Sunflower Seed (BOSS)and Thistle really covers it for most birds. Try Suit cakes also. If you want a lot of activity add a water feature, even if it is just an upside down garbage can lid with stones in it.

RE: Birds wasting the milo in my bird feeders

Very good question wasabi, and one of the most important reasons that that forums like this exist.
I do not buy any seed which contains millet, milo, or cracked corn. It just tends to draw in the birds that you don't want at your feeders, and it brings them in droves. rhizo and lisa give good advice. Stick with plain old Black Oil Sunflower Seed (BOSS) for your seed feeders. I buy 40lb bags of it at Tractor Supply for $16, so it isn't too expensive. If you want to splurge a little on the birds, Sunflower hearts/chips are a HUGE hit as is suet. Thistle seed (or Nyjer) is favored by Goldfinches, but it is expensive right now and requires a special type of feeder. You can also buy a peanut feeder and offer shelled peanuts for the Woodepeckers, Nuthatches, and Jays. You can buy mixes which are labled as "fruit and nut" mixes, and they contain really great choices for the birds. Many birds love to eat dried fruits, and these mixes usually contain BOSS, dried fruits, and nuts. Oh, and the suggestion of adding water is an excellent one. One of my most visited water offerings is a large saucer from a terra cotta flower pot. I add fresh water each day, and the birds flock to it for drinking and bathing. I also own a heated birdbath which is mounted on my deck rail. In the dead of winter when everything is frozen, it is a HUGE hit with the birds, and then I unplug it and they also use it during the summer months. Sorry to be so wordy. Hope that helps you~~Angie

Here is a link that might be useful: saucer great for birds (example)

RE: Birds wasting the milo in my bird feeders

I sure do agree with providing a water feature of some kind. All of the birds love a good bath and fresh water. Place it where it will be convenient to keep it clean and filled with water.

RE: Birds wasting the milo in my bird feeders

Pennington and Milo seed SCAM: before I purchased a 40 lbs bag of Pennington Classic birdseed at Wallmart, I saw on the back of the bag that Pennington provided a nice little graph that broke down a variety of birds and what seeds they eat. It had to have had 12 different seeds listed but it did not list MILO which led me to believe the bag didn't contain MILO......SO WRONG! I never buy seed with Milo because the only birds that will eat it are pheasants, pigeons, and turkeys.....(nice for bird feeders, right!). I purchased the bag only to see it contained about 70% - 80% MILO! I looked at the back of the bag again and it did not list Milo in their graph. But when I looked at the bottom of the bag it listed what seeds the bag contained and guess what the seed was listed???? MILO! Would any honest company provide a handy graph only to leave out MILO which is the main ingredient? NO! So I immediately called Pennington and they confirmed that no bird feeder birds on the east coat eat Milo and added that their warehouse must have added too much Milo in error (LIE). Pennington went on to say they offer an alternative to their classic brand called ultra which had no Milo. Guess what is advertised on the front of the Ultra bad? "No Wasted Seed"! I brought this scam to the attention of the Wallmart Manager who said he would contact their buyer. DO NOT but seed with Milo because you are throwing your money down the drain and Pennington admits it!

RE: Birds wasting the milo in my bird feeders

I have had the same problems with the wasted red milo. I have purchased bags of mixed bird seed from Walmart for several years. At one time the birdseed was mostly millet but now it is mostly milo and the birds really waste it. The brand name is Kaytee and I will not buy it again. There is no way to know what is in the bag until it is opened. I now buy birdseed in bulk from Winco Food Stores in Idaho Falls, ID. They only cover a few states around Idaho. Being in bulk, it is easy to see that it is mostly millet seed that the birds love and it is only 49 cents a pound, cheaper by the pound that the bags at Walmart. However, I will still buy the 20 lb. bags of thistle seed at Walmart, when they are not out of it, since it is a little cheaper than the $1.43 per pound price at Winco. I love all the house finches, pine siskins, and goldfinches (and no house sparrows) that feed on the finch, thistle seed socks.

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