Fiction: Wild birds need vitamin and mineral supplements added to their birdseed to help them survive
Fact: Most wild birds eat from a wide variety of food sources (insects, berries, seeds, etc.) which guarantees they get all the vitamins and minerals they need naturally. As long as your birdseed is fresh, high quality stuff like Cole’s, your feathered friends are sure to thrive.
Needless to say, real nutritional supplements are not harmful; however, the most common way for companies to add “vitamins” to their products is to simply coat it with mineral oil and add crushed rock. Current regulations allow a manufacturer to list the nutritional components of mineral oil (iron, zinc) and crushed rock (Vitamin A, calcium carbonate) separately, which can make the birdseed ingredients look more impressive than they really are. Adding mineral oil to birdseed also makes it look shiny and helps to hide dirt and dust, and of course the crushed rock adds weight to the final product.