Bird Lovers Keeping Feeders Full During Drought

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Knoxville (WVLT) - It's no secret the cattle are suffering, as are the fields and everything in them.

But often overlooked are the smaller animals that depend on the soil, or at least what's in it, to live, such as birds.

Volunteer TV’s Allison Hunt has more on their plight for food.

It’s sad to say some of us don't always think about wild animals who have to fend for themselves.

But employees at the Agri-Feed Pet Supply say we need to. Flowers aren't producing seeds like normal, so birds can't find food, and need your help.

"We've seen a lot of birds around, they don't usually eat that much in the summer, but they have this summer,” Jim Andrews loads huge bags of bird seed into his cart, he says birds can't get enough.

George Tibbs has been keeping the birds full too, "They're probably more hungry than normal, cause they can't find food that they normally find in the wild."

And they're not the only ones buying in bulk.

"They can't keep their feeders full,” says Kristin Ballew.

Employees at Agri-Feed Pet Supply say they've had a big increase in seed sales.

"Usually when we open the doors the very first thing the people are coming in and getting is the black oil sunflower seeds,” Ballew says.

So employees have been busy filling bags. "Because of the drought this year, the natural flowers aren't producing the seeds the birds are used to eating,” Ballew explains.

That means you won't only see you're typical cardinal, blue jay or chickadee.

"We've had a lot of grossbacks this year, more than usual, we haven't had that many before, we had a scarlet tanager we haven't had before,” says Andrews.

"A lot of different birds are coming in that they haven't seen annually because more birds are having to come in and get different seed,” Ballew says.

And Helen Longmire doesn't mind the new company. "Most I've seen ever, the color of them, they're just beautiful this year, I've enjoyed them so much."

She makes sure her feathered friends know exactly where to go. "They're not going hungry the ones that come here. See they've already started there now."

Within minutes of Helen filling her feeder, birds fly in. "Oh yes more, coming to the feeders, they sure have."

"I know this summer has been really tough on critters as well as people, so help each other out I guess,” Andrews says.

Employees say to also put seed on the ground, some birds like it there, and of course, if you have a bird bath, keep water in it, because they're looking for that too.

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