The first 10 days of November were very warm, with temperatures in the upper 70s and 80s. With the warm weather, the birds did not need a lot of supplemental food. With colder weather everyone needs more calories to stoke their metabolism to keep the body functioning efficiently.
Not only was the weather warm, food sources were readily available. Right now a lot of the grasses still have seeds and most of the common sunflowers have seeds. Some just finished blooming and the seeds aren’t even mature yet. The warm weather also had lots of insects buzzing about. With the dropping temperatures the insect population also drops. When temps drop below freezing, the insect numbers plummet. So the birds that are insect eaters, woodpeckers, nuthatches, bluebirds, just to name a few, need supplemental food sources until it warms up and the bugs again become active. Suet cakes make a nice substitute, as long as the temps stay below 70. Raccoons also love the suet cakes, so don’t be surprised to have the whole suet cage disappear once these “bandits” figure out you’ve opened the pantry to them.
Peanut butter, peanuts and other nuts are quite appreciated by Blue Jays, Titmice and White-Crowned Sparrows. These tasty treats are also enjoyed by Turkeys, Deer and Squirrels.
Black oil sunflower seeds are relished by the greatest variety of birds. So if you can only provide one type of food, provide Black oil sunflower seeds! Place these seeds in a hanging tube-style feeder and you’ll have Finches, Titmice, Chickadees and Pine Siskins feeding happily. Place the same seeds in a screened hanging feeder to attract Woodpeckers, Nuthatches and Brown Creepers. A platform or hopper style feeder three to four feet above the ground will attract Cardinals, Blue Jays and House Finches. While a platform feeder just off the ground is preferred by the Harris Sparrow.
Deer also like to eat Black oil Sunflower seeds, peanuts and corn. Low platform feeders are almost like a buffet. Deer also empty low hanging feeders. They bump them like they are piñatas. If you live in the country you may have to shoo the deer away from your birdseed. They can tear through 50 pounds of Black oil Sunflower seed in one morning - if you allow them.