Pumpkin or Melon Seeds
Last Halloween, after Julie and the kids carved our pumpkins, Phoebe was sent out to dump the pumpkin guts on the compost pile. Half an hour later she called out,Hey! Theres a gray bird eating the pumpkin stuff! Sure enough, a late lingering gray catbird was billing through the wet pile of pumpkin innards eating bits and pieces. After the seeds dried out the cardinals and titmice made the pumpkin pile a regular feeding spot. Now we often save our pumpkin, squash, and melon seeds, dry them in the oven, and spread them out on our large platform feeder. Not all the birds can crack these tough seeds, but those that can waste no time in clearing them off the feeder. Melon rinds can work the same magic. We never get yellow-breasted chats or brown thrashers at our feeders, but they are regulars on our compost pile when theres a strategically placed watermelon rind, with just a little extra melon still on it.