According to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, there are a number of people who are expected to decrease the amount of seed they put in their bird feeders because it’s becoming too expensive. Within a year, the price of seed doubled to an average of a dollar per pound.
You might be wondering why prices have gone up in such a short amount of time, but it’s a matter of economics. Last year’s harvest was not great and demand for the product also went up since sunflower seeds are used for a number of things. Those factors drove up the price and the outlook doesn’t look great this year either, so prices are unlikely to come down.
If you’re new to bird feeders, you might think it’s better just to opt for a different type of seed or bird food. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Ornithologists highly recommend putting out black-oil sunflower seeds in the winter because some birds, such as black-capped chickadees, don’t migrate to warmer temperatures, and they need the high energy found in sunflower seeds to sustain them throughout the winter.
Birds are also starting to cache some of the energy they gain during fall to help them in colder months. Many diehard bird lovers and enthusiasts have vowed that the price increase won’t affect their feeding habits because they enjoy the entertainment birds provide and want them to be properly nourished during the winter. On several online bird forums, others are lamenting the fact that they have to cut back and will only put out black-oil sunflower seeds if the winter gets especially harsh.
In the winter, using other types of food like millet is not helpful because chickadees will not eat it. That’s only a good item to put out in the spring and summer.
It’ll be interesting to see just how many people stop putting black-oil sunflower seeds in their feeder over the next few months. Will the price increase stop you from filling your feeder as often?