Who doesn’t want to wake up to the sound of birds chirping in their garden? The best way to lure them into your backyard is by feeding them. Just like humans enjoy different cuisines, birds love different combinations of seeds.
Bird seeds come in a variety of mixes. So it's important to evaluate what types of seeds your local birds might relish. You must know how to appease their taste buds if you intend to keep them hooked to your garden.
Selecting the best seeds for birds is not an easy task. You have to understand their requirements and choose from an abundance of seeds in the market. From sunflower to corn to milo.
We have curated a few guidelines to help you decide. We’ve also listed the best brands of bird seeds in the market for your convenience. Read further to become the best bird feeder in town.
The Best Bird Seeds
The market is flooded with various bird seeds. They usually have different compositions. So it’s tricky to arrive at a decision. We have reviewed some of the best bird seed brands to help you choose.
Where To Buy
1. Wagner’s Nyjer Seed Bird Food
If you want to appease finches, this is the right birdseed for you. It is specially designed to be used in finch feeders, which have small holes and tiny perches. While this may be discouraging for larger birds, it is apt for tiny little feeders. In addition to this, Nyjer Seed Bird food has a high fat and protein content.
It's suitable for American Goldfinch, House Finch, Pine Siskin, Purple Finch, and various other small songbirds. It might seem like quite an expensive purchase for a bird feed, but you must realize that it's a large pack. Freezing these seeds is recommended to keep the pack from going stale.
2. Wagner’s Greatest Variety Brand
Just like its name suggests, this bird food caters to a large variety of birds with different preferences. It contains 11 chosen bird food ingredients of premium quality. It can be fed in a tube, hopper, or platform feeder, whichever you own.
For the wild bird species, black oil sunflower, striped sunflower, and sunflower chips are included. They constitute about 40% percent of this hearty blend. Nyjer, peanut kernels, safflower, and canary seeds are added to this enriching blend.
It happens to attract songbirds like Cardinals, Finches, Woodpeckers, Titmice, Jays, and Chickadees. This fulfilling mixture of cracked corn, red milo, red and white millet additionally entices a large variety of ground feeders. These include Dark-eyed Juncos, Mourning Doves, House Sparrows, Song Sparrows, and Tree Sparrows.
3. Lyric Sunflower Kernels
Lyric Sunflower Kernels is another delicacy in the bird universe. It does not contain any shells, and it's 100% edible. Sometimes, attracting birds comes at the cost of you having to clean up after them. These are pre-shelled kernels that do not create any mess or waste.
It is all-around and wholesome bird food, meant for the wild birds. Beautiful birds like Titmice, Redpolls, Flickers, Finches, and Nuthatches love these bird seeds. Even, Grosbeaks, Cardinals, Buntings, Chickadees, Towhees, and woodpeckers seem to be fans. You must keep these in an airtight container once opened.
4. Valley Splendor Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
This product is a delicious treat for backyard birds. It’s also really popular in North America. It has a high oil content, which makes it nourishing for the birds. The thin seed hull of oil caters to the needs of dainty songbirds.
These seeds attract Cardinals, Chickadees, Titmice, Finches, and a host of other birds to your backyard. These seeds work equally well in tubes, hoppers, and platform-style bird feeders. You must clean your feeders regularly if your use these bird seeds.
5. Audubon Park Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
These American bird seeds are popular and invite many sorts of wild birds. This product is recognized for its thin shells, which make for an easy feeding experience. Its high-quality allures wild birds like, Woodpeckers, Finches, Cardinals, Nuthatches, Grosbeaks, and Chickadees.
It's designed to be used in hoppers, platforms, and tube feeders. It also comes with an economical price as compared to other alternatives.
6. Kaytee Safflower Seed
Kaytee safflower seeds are well-reputed and for good reason. They attract many chirpy birds to your garden, including Cardinals, due to the high oil content. They are quite popular amongst Grosbeaks, Chickadees, and Nuthatches too.
An interesting fact about this product is that, due to the Safflower constitution, sometimes even squirrels may grow to like it even though it was intended to keep them from munching on them. More often than not, it serves the purpose of keeping them away efficiently.
Types Of Bird Seeds
It may seem like feeding birds is easy. After all, they are birds, how picky can they be? This is where you may go wrong. While sunflower seeds cater to a wide variety of birds, other seeds have a fairly restricted fanfare.
To facilitate a better understanding of bird seeds, we have explained the various types of seeds in detail.
Out of all the bird seeds, the sunflower is the most versatile as it caters to the widest variety. You will get two types of sunflower seeds in the market, black oil and striped. They can be differentiated based on thickness.
Black oil sunflower has thin shells, so it’s easy for winter birds to crack them open and eat. Whereas striped sunflower seeds have thick shells, which makes it quite difficult for small birds to feed on them.
If you wish to attract beautiful small birds, you should go for black oil sunflower or shelled seeds. However, they are a bit expensive and are loved by squirrels equally. On the other hand, striped sunflower seeds can be fed in all types of feeders and don’t spoil easily.
These are some of the best seeds for birds like small finches and are also known as Thistle. These seeds are tiny and black in color. To retain their food value and to prevent them from growing, they are heat-sterilized.
Safflower seeds attract Cardinals owing to their thick shells that are hard to crack open for smaller birds. Regardless, it even caters to doves, grosbeaks, native sparrows, and many others.
Squirrels don't usually like Safflower seeds, so it helps keep them away from bird feeders. Since Cardinals prefer Hopper feeders and trays, these bird feeders are recommended.
White Proso Millet
These are perfect for ground-feeding birds like native American sparrows, Cardinals, juncos, quails, and many more. If you aim to only invite songbirds to your backyard, avoid these seeds, as cowbirds and house sparrows also love them.
Corn is devoured by a large variety of birds, including turkeys, ravens, doves, and cranes. For birds, it comes shelled and cracked to make for an easy consumption process. It's ideal for tray feeders and should not be offered in tubes.
A major problem with corn is that it tends to get easily contaminated by aflatoxins. They are quite toxic, even in small amounts. Hence, you need to take a few precautionary measures. You must not buy them in plastic bags and must keep them dry.
It also attracts deer, cowbirds, raccoons, geese, and house sparrows, which may pose an issue for you. However, if you live in high-rise buildings or apartments, it can be overlooked.
Woodpeckers, titmice, crows, jays, and other diverse varieties of birds absolutely love peanuts. They must be spread out on window feeders and trays if you wish to attract jays. However, if your use tubes, you must clean them regularly as they quickly develop aflatoxins.
You also have the choice to select either shelled peanuts or peanuts with shells. Just like corn, even peanuts should be used in really small amounts at a time. Another word of caution is that they also attract raccoons, deer, and squirrels.
Canary Seeds and Rapeseeds
House sparrows and cowbirds are quite abundantly available. If you want to attract them, you can use canary and rapeseeds as they love them. These seeds also cater to finches, doves, quails, and other birds.
If you don’t want to attract house sparrows, it’s best to avoid these seeds. They also spoil easily and have a relatively smaller shelf-life.
How To Select Bird Seeds?
As mentioned above, bird seeds come in a lot of varieties and mixes. You are prone to make a few mistakes while picking the right bird seeds for your garden. To assist you, we have included some guidelines to help you select the best seeds for birds.
You must examine the bird traffic you are likely to experience and keep that in mind while buying seeds. While buying larger packs is quite economical, if you don’t intend to feed a lot of birds, it’s a wastage.
Pick The Right Ingredients
When it comes to bird seeds, ingredients are the most important component. Whatever you serve to the birds should obviously be non-toxic and should have a good nutritional value. Depending on the birds you cater to, you must select the right mix.
While some bird seeds spoil easily, others don’t. It’s recommended that you buy small quantities of bird seeds so that they don’t go bad. It’s also advised that the seeds should be kept away from moisture.
If this cannot be avoided, you must select seeds that don’t go bad easily and retain their freshness for longer. Even after that, you should regularly evaluate the quality of whatever you feed to the birds.
Good quality is paramount for selecting bird seeds. Ensure that there are no additives and pesticides. While these things may keep the insects away and increase the shelf life, they will also adversely affect the birds.
Your chosen brand should have a good mix that can cater to a variety of birds. Sunflower seeds and millet should be present in a decent quantity.
Seeds To Avoid
A low-quality seed mix is bound to be loaded with fillers. They increase the quantity but cannot fool the birds. If you want to retain good traffic of birds, these fillers need to be strictly avoided. Some of the popular fillers are rice, flax, and buckwheat.
Attracting birds is quite easy, but to retain them, you must offer them the highest-quality seeds. Depending on the birds you want to see in your backyard, you must go for the right mix of seeds. Even the feeders need to be chosen wisely and should be cleaned thoroughly before every refill.
While feeding birds is quite intimidating at first, you’ll become a natural with time. Just adhere to the guidelines and pick the best fit for your birds. We hope your garden soon becomes the best eatery for all the birds in town.