But even for the small seed-eaters on your list, like white-throated sparrows, cardinals,towhees, juncos, goldfinches, tufted titmice, chickadees and others, you still need tobuy the right seed. It seems that getting presents for animals is popular these days. We buy holiday giftsfor our dogs or cats. So why not buy gifts for the birds? It’s a cute thought. But a recipe for bird food is not at all necessary. The plain seedsare as good or better. Well, small, seed-eating backyard birds, you say. Let’s buy them seeds. But what is bird food? It depends on what kind of bird you have in mind. After all,eagles, ostriches, woodpeckers and penguins are all birds, but their foods are ratherdifferent. An interesting 4-H or school wildlife project is to let the birds teach you what they like.Buy various kinds of birdseed and put them out on the ground. Under dense bushes is agood place, where the birds can feed safely. Put the various kinds of food in separate places, and then count the numbers of eachkind of bird you find feeding on the seeds. Do you need feeders for this experiment? No. A feeder isn’t necessary for most smallseed-eaters. They’re adapted to feeding on the ground, although some, like thegoldfinches, often prefer to feed up in the branches. This is the last in this series of articles on backyard wildlife. Did you like it? If you’dlike the series to continue, or if you’d like your questions answered on other wildlifetopics, please call Dan Rahn at (912) 681-5189. Or fax (912) 871-1657, [email protected] or write at P.O. Box 8112, Statesboro, Ga. 30460. What to get them? Bird food, of course. How about making specialty mixes of seeds, or adding suet to seeds to make acasserole for cardinals or a concoction for chickadees? Mixes of bird seeds are often primarily the less desirable, cheaper seeds, such assorghum, wheat or cracked corn. Premium bird seeds, from the point-of-view of thesebirds, will include sunflower seeds, niger thistle and white and red proso millet. Well, now that the bustle of the winter holidays is over, had you thought about gifts foryour birds?