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Why you shouldn’t buy bird food with Milo in it – Part I

Shelter-in-place happened too quickly and coincided with my tooth extraction. We had no time to run down to Sloat garden to stock up our bird seeds. Around end of March, when the lockdown dates got extended, we felt that we should order some bird food online for our rooftop party.

We happily bought a 10-lb bag of deluxe blend without reading the one-star reviews. Why would we need to do that when 81% of more than 2,800 people had given it five-star reviews and 11% four-star reviews?

The House Finches were always chatty, but as soon as we started with the new blend, I had a hunch they were gossiping about me. 

Lady with a bad taste in clothing now feeds us with such disgusting food. Bad taste! Does she even know what she is offering? Let’s kick them off to the ground so she gets the hint! Argh.

Indeed, I did not know what I was offering. Safflower Seed and Milo are the two items on the list that seem unfamiliar. In Singapore (where I grew up), Safflower is a healthier choice of cooking oil, and Milo is a nutritious chocolate and malt drink.

It took some online research to learn that Milo, also known as Sorghum, is the reddish round seed that most birds dislike.

To be sure that “most birds” dislike it, I poured the unwanted pile into a green plate and left it on the side. True enough, all our feathered friends detest it. The Dark-eyed Juncos kicked the pile like the House Finches.

As a matter of fact, not just Milo, Cracked Corn and White Millet are not “readily eaten” as advertised on the back of the deluxe blend.

The California Scrub-jays did not even come close to the green plate. They shriek and pick up only the sunflower seeds from the frying pan.

Then, came the Rock Pigeons.

The first sight of a Rock Pigeon was quite a delight. Finally, someone who would clear the Milo (and everything) on the ground. Social distancing was well practised – the Rock Pigeon would let the House Finch finish his food.

I thought that was the end of my problem.

No, it was the beginning of another problem. The Rock Pigeon called on a friend, and the two of them would squeeze and hog up the frying pan. That was before the third one came, sashaying from the neighbour’s roof.

I couldn’t hear the House Finches gossip anymore – they are not even here. Every morning, I hear a loud flutter of wings instead of a cheery tune. That is when I know the Rock Pigeon gang is here, and in a few minutes, I will have to clear their large watery poop.

[To be continued…]

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  1. Why you shouldn’t buy bird food with Milo in it – Part II – documen·ting

    […] bird seeds – is almost non-existence. Peanut Kernel and Safflower Seed are barely noticeable. The Undesirables consists of mainly Milo, Cracked Corn and White Millet (deemed undesirable after birds are given Black Oil and Striped Sunflower […]


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