Q: My wife and I put up a new bird feeder after Christmas but we see very little feeding activity. Can birdseed go bad or can birds even tell that it is old?
A: “Heck, they eat worms and dead bugs!” snorted Victor Willams of the Atlanta Audubon Society. “I doubt they care if the seed is old.”
Bird taste buds are not nearly as well developed as some bird noses. Turkey vultures can smell prospective victuals from miles away. If their taste buds were as sensitive, I doubt the species would survive.
Fellow columnist Charles Seabrook also noted the absence of birds at feeders earlier this year. One explanation is that the mild winter held plenty of natural food sources for the birds. If we get more weather like that a few weeks ago, the birds will come to your feeder, old seed or new!