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Category Archives: Bird Food Ingredients

Tips for Feeding Summer Birds

Long warm days give backyard birders more time to observe feeders and see many different hungry visitors, especially in northern areas when there is a greater variety. During the summer months, birds are in their breeding plumage, making identification easier and more colourful birds! We’ve gathered some tips to make sure your summer bird feeding program is enjoyable for both you and your guests:


  1. Feed
  • Sunflower black oil seeds, coarse chips, or medium chips are the most popular option for a wide range of bird species. Nyjer will also attract finches, while mixed seed caters to different songbird species.
  • Peanuts are popular with jays, chickadees, titmice, and nuthatches, and they can be offered in platform feeders. Avoid seasoned, flavored, or coated nuts, as they are unsafe for wild birds.
  • Hang feeders in shaded areas to minimize seed spoiling and help keep birds cool, encouraging them to stay longer.
  • Choose mesh or open feeder styles that allow airflow and will dry out quicker if the seed gets damp.
  • Use baffles or covers to keep seed from getting soaked during rainstorms.
  1. Safety
  • Discourage neighborhood cats from visiting your yard to protect ground feeding birds and young fledglings.
  • Birds have a difficult time seeing glass. Instead, they see the reflection of the sky and plants. Protect birds from window strikes by positioning feeders carefully and using decals and/or anti-reflective techniques.
  • Discard any seed that has spoiled and clean your feeder to avoid spreading disease. You can follow our cleaning guide HERE.
  1. Water
  • Adding a freshwater source is one of the quickest ways to attract birds to your yard. Incorporate a birdbath or fountain to attract species that need water but do not frequently visit feeders. When refilling your birdbath, be sure to dump out stagnant water instead of just adding more.
  • Place water feature away from feeders to prevent any spilled seed from landing in the water.
  • Clean your birdbaths and fountains 2-3 times a week depending on how many birds are using it, or as soon as you see discoloration of the water.


Happy birding!


Myntz, Melissa 2019, Summer Bird Feeding, The Spruce, accessed 25 July 2019

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Squirrels vs Bird Feeders

DETER or ACCEPT, which approach do you take with your squirrels?

1. Deterrence – BLOCK & SCHEME
There are several products on the market designed to help you keep squirrels out of bird feeders. Skip to Approach #2 if you struggle with patience. Approach #1 will likely require some trial and error. 

Here’s an overview of a few popular options:

    • Invest in a squirrel proof feeder. There is a number on the market to choose from. Cons: The squirrels trying to get into the feeder can scare the birds away.
    • Invest in a pole that is designed to prevent squirrels from climbing OR squirrel proof existing poles by attaching a Torpedo or Wrap Around Baffle. Note: Make sure that the baffle is placed high enough that the squirrels can’t jump past it!
    • Hang bird feeders in a hard to reach area. For example, string fishing line between 2 trees and hang the bird feeder in the middle. Make sure there are no branches close enough for the squirrels to jump from (min. 10 ft). Choose a wire gauge that is suitable for the weight of your feeder while full. Don’t opt for a rope as the squirrels can still traverse to the feeder.

Squirrels are relentless and don’t understand why they can’t have the delicious food you’ve put out. Even if you manage to keep squirrels from getting your birdseed, they are likely going to scare away the birds trying. Limiting which nature you attract into your yard is hard when birds and squirrels enjoy similar diets. You can, however, guide squirrels away from your birdseed by designating a zone for them! Our Account Manager, Larry, has shared his squirrel friendly setup below. He opts for peanuts in the feeders shared with squirrels and reserves birdseed for bird specific feeders.

Photo’s by Larry Bell, Account Manager, Pestell Minerals & Ingredients.

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How to Attract Birds to Your Backyard

Attract new birds to your backyard by offering what they need most: food, water, shelter, and nesting sites

1. Food
Adding a new food source is one of the easiest ways to attract new birds to your yard. By offering a variety of food and feeder types, you will attract the widest variety of wild birds. Check out our Wild Bird Food Preference Chart to learn which type of food the birds you want to attract prefer.

2. Water
Did you know a good water source can be even better than food for enticing birds to your yard! The sound of moving water will attract birds from greater distances for a cool drink or bath. The most popular options to add water in your yard are with bird baths, misters, ponds, waterfalls, and streams.

3. Foliage & Shelter
Creating an environment where birds feel safe will encourage even shy birds to stop by. Bird-friendly landscaping, featuring native plants in tiers or clumps, provides familiar shelter. Add new plants to an unused area of your yard, or increase the density of existing plants for more secure cover. Your best tree investment for your bird sanctuary is always an evergreen.

4. Nesting
Offering suitable nesting areas will increase the chances that new birds will find your yard attractive. Add a new birdhouse specific to the birds you wish to attract. Also, consider offering nesting boxes and nesting materials in the spring for your birds to take when constructing their nests. Some birds will prefer weed fluff from dead flowers, while others will take advantage of grass clippings that are left on the lawn. Save pet fur, small pieces of string and lint that hummingbirds and goldfinches prefer.

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If you have a question about a product or a general inquiry, please feel free to complete the contact form below:

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DOWNLOAD | Bird Feeder Cleaning Guide

Prevent feed from spoiling and development of diseases

Did you know feeders should be cleaned a minimum once per month?! Popular feeders may need to be cleaned more frequently. We’ve created a quick guide to walk you through the process.

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If you have a question about a product or a general inquiry, please feel free to complete the contact form below:

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Bird Food Ingredients – New Crop 2018

Bird Food Ingredients – New Crop 2018

The New Crop season is here! Have you considered your needs for this Fall and Winter season? Please contact your Account Manager for pricing on direct shipments of New Crop Bird Food.

Below you’ll find market information on various Bird Food Ingredients and a downloadable Wild Bird Food and Feeder Preference Chart.

Crop Update

Sunflower Black Oil

Sunflower Black Oil – Overall yield is adequate for this year’s feeding season. New crop pricing has settled in slightly softer than old crop and is expected to remain flat into the winter months.


Millet – The millet harvest is complete with the yields being near the historical average. Prices are expected to remain high due to strong demand with the U.S. blenders and due to farmers reluctance to sell. White millet stores well and many farmers are willing to hold out for higher prices. We recommend buying ahead on your millet requirement.


Milo – Milo harvest is underway. Yields look decent and pricing is expected to remain steady.

Flax Seed

Flax Seed – Acreage was down for the third year in a row. Canada faces increased challenges in the export market with strong competition from Eastern Europe who benefits heavily from shorter freight distances. We expect this market to remain steady.


Peas – Decreased export demand has resulted in lower production. This market will remain stable to soft.

Wild Bird Food and Feeder Preference Chart

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Bird Food Ingredients – New Crop 2017

As farmers are preparing for the 2017 New Crop Harvest, it is the perfect opportunity for Canadian Bird Food Retailers & Blenders to review their New Crop – Bird Food Ingredient requirements for the upcoming season.

Book full or partial loads of New Crop today with Pestell Minerals & Ingredients to ensure you are offering consistent competitive pricing throughout the season.

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Bird Food Ingredients – New Crop 2016

The New Crop season is almost upon us and now is a great time to consider your needs for the upcoming Fall & Winter season. Not only are there some good savings to be had but you can avoid possible delays in shipping by booking now.

Please contact us for pricing of direct shipments (full or partial loads) of New Crop seeds.

Read more for some important updates with the Bird Food Ingredient market and a Wild Bird Food Preference Chart.

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