Cardinal in snow

Male cardinals light up the winter scenery

Increasingly Americans are looking for unique, but common sense gifts to give at the Holidays.   Too many of us have too much stuff, and we don’t need to add more to our household cache.  This is especially true of people in the middle to older age brackets.   What we want are experiences or items that can be consumed.  The gift of bird seed fills both of those desires.

female cardinal in the snow

Even the female cardinals add a dash of color to the winter woods

Whether someone is a long-time advocate of feeding birds, or a neophyte, they will all appreciate a supply of seeds that they can use in the coming months.  The daily practice of going out and filling the feeders is a ritual that people practice all over the country.  It gives them satisfaction to know that they are helping other creatures survive and it provides non-stop entertainment, as the variously colored and shaped birds fly in to the feeders.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 65 million Americans watch, feed and landscape for birds, and the numbers are growing each year.


When trying to choose the right food for the birds, you should know that doves and sparrows favor white proso millet; blackbirds, and juncos will eat the other mixed varieties. Nyjer seeds are a favorite of the smaller finches. Sunflower seeds (both shelled and unshelled) are popular with all species. Be sure to check the link for Selecting the Right Bird Seed to learn more about each variety.

Heritage Farms feeder

Heritage Farms Feeder attracts a variety of birds. now offers not only a wide variety of seeds and feed, including suet, but now you can purchase one or more bird feeders.  They come in a variety of shapes and designs – some more suitable for some species of birds than others. Just be forewarned.  It can become addicting as the feeders attract more birds to your yard.  Soon you will feel you need to add another.  But this is a healthy addiction, both for you and the birds. also offers online sales during the Christmas Holiday and will enclose a gift card with a message if you choose to have your order shipped directly to your friend or family member.


Besides providing bird seed as gifts in and of themselves, you could also use some of the mixed seeds to make ornaments that can be hung on the trees to add Holiday cheer to your yard, as well as offering the birds another source for food.  There are lots of ways to do this, the easiest being pine cones, coated with peanut butter and then rolled in seeds.  This is a craft that parents or grandparents can do with kids, adding another level of pleasure to the pastime.

junco at pinecone feeder

A Dark-Eyed Junco finds a treat

chickadee in flight by pine cone feeder

Pine cones are easy to coat with seeds and birds love them.