This morning on the radio (WGN720 in Chicago) I heard that bird feeding in the United States is a TWO BILLION DOLLAR industry! That's a LOT of seed!
We most likely feed the birds to a greater degree than most of our neighbors. Elegante Mother considers it to be her entertainment. We put out feed all year round, and I add a feeder during difficult winters. Usually we fill one almost raccoon-proof feeder with about a 12-cup capacity, and a silo feeder that holds medium chipped sunflower hearts, every one to two days. All the birds like the silo feeder, but it's meant to feed the smaller birds. That doesn't stop the bigger birds from trying to muscle the little ones out.
It's been a delight to see the goldfinches and other small birds use my herb garden for dinner. The purple coneflower is very well received but none of the birds will bother with the seeds from the garlic chives. I can't say that I blame them. Bees were visiting the garlic chive flowers and I thought that would make interesting honey!