Wild Bird Seed

Wild bird seed is the most common bird food used to attract wild birds.

So how do you know which type to use?

I recommend offering a variety of bird foods, in different bird feeders, to attract a greater variety of wild birds.

When shopping for bird seed you will find some packages contain one specific type of seed and others have a combination of different types of seed.

It is always better to choose high quality wild bird seed when buying bird seed mixes. You should avoid cheaper mixtures that contain large amounts of buckwheat, rice, oats, milo, flax, rapeseed, cracked corn and canary seed.

From my experience, trying to attract birds with these mixtures is like trying to get my kids to eat vegetables.

Types of Wild Bird Seed

Black Oil Sunflower Seed

This bird seed really delivers. If you are having trouble attracting wild birds or are putting out a wild bird feeder for the first time then this is the wild bird seed for you.

Most seed eating birds love black-oil sunflower seed. You can attract many species of wild birds with black-oil sunflower seed including:

You can purchase black-oil sunflower seed with or without the shells. Using hulled seeds will produce less mess.

Nyjer Seed (Thistle)

Nyjer seed is a specialized type of wild bird seed. It requires a specific type of bird feeder called a finch feeder or thistle feeder. It will have smaller openings for the tiny seed to flow through.

It can be used to attract American Goldfinches, Lesser Goldfinches, House Finches, and Common Redpolls.

Safflower Seed

Safflower seeds are small, white and loaded with fat and protein. Many backyard birds can be attracted using this wild bird food - including Northern Cardinals, Chickadees, House Finches, Mourning Doves, some Woodpeckers, Tufted Titmice and White-breasted Nuthatches.

When offered a choice, squirrels will avoid these seeds and their bitter taste.

Suet Bird Food

Suet bird food attracts many species of tree clinging birds, such as: woodpeckers, nuthatches and chickadees.

You can purchase commercial suet cakes. They are available in many varieties, and can attract wild birds that like seeds, nuts, fruits or insects.

If you want to have a little fun, you can make your own suet cakes.

Proper wild bird seed storage is very important. 

It will:

  • Keep the seed dry, eliminating mold
  • Reduce the chances of attracting rodents
  • Make it easier to fill your bird feeders

Other Types of Wild Bird Food Include:

Wild Birds also need water

If you don't have a natural water source in your yard you can provide water with a birdbath or a small pond. And guess what ... you can actually attract more birds with water than food! 

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