How to Choose Bird Seed
With so many choices, selecting the right bird seed for you and your feathered friends can be challenging. Answer these few simple questions to help make the bird seed selection process easier.
- What type of birds do you want to attract?
Different types of birds are attracted to different seed varieties. Sunflower seed appeals to many of the common feeder birds and is high in nutrition. Cardinals, chickadees, and sparrows all love sunflower seed. Finches and siskins are partial to thistle seed. Birds such as nuthatches, jays, and woodpeckers eat safflower seed but will eat other seed types as well. There are also many seed mixes available that combine an assortment of seeds to attract the largest variety of birds.
- What type of bird feeder do you have?
Not all bird feeders can hold all varieties of bird seed. Sunflower and safflower seed are similar in size and can be used in many traditional bird feeders. Peanuts are larger in size and may require larger ports or tray style feeders for dispensing. Thistle seed is very small and thin, and therefore requires a feeder with a small opening so the seed doesn’t spill out on its own.
- What is the quality of the bird seed?
All bird seed is not created equal. Birds have a good sense when it comes to the quality of the food they eat. High quality bird seed will attract a larger variety of birds and provide them with the best nutrition. Make sure the seeds you choose don’t have excess dust or debris in them. If you are choosing a seed blend, try to find one that doesn’t include milo. Milo is a cheap filler that most birds won’t eat. You will simply be wasting your money if you offer milo to feeder birds.
Bird Seed Types
Which bird seeds attract which bird species? Learn about each seed type and what makes it appealing to a particular bird species.
Sunflower Seed - Sunflower seed is the best all-around bird seed to offer. Many birds will eat sunflower seed and it provides them with excellent nutrition. Black oil sunflower seed is the most common of the sunflower variety and is great for most songbirds because of its high oil content. Striped sunflower and hulled sunflower are two other varieties that lots of birds prefer.
Safflower Seed - Birds with sturdy bills such as cardinals and woodpeckers enjoy dining on safflower seeds. Safflower is a large oval shaped seed with a hard white shell. If you have a squirrel problem at your bird feeders, offering safflower seed is an excellent option. Squirrels don’t like safflower, yet many birds will still come to your feeders for a meal!
Thistle Seed - Thistle seed, aka niger or Nyjer®, is a dark, rice-shaped seed. Many small birds like finches prefer thistle seed to any other seed variety. This seed is very oily which provides these tiny birds with tons of energy. Thistle requires a specific type of feeder to securely hold the tiny shells. Thistle socks or tube feeders with tiny slit-like openings work perfectly for dispensing thistle seed.
Peanuts - Peanuts are an abundant source of protein for many backyard birds. There are several ways to offer peanuts. Larger birds like Blue Jays, will eat whole peanuts in the shell. Because of the large size of whole peanuts, you will need a tray feeder to offer these. Peanut pieces are a great option for smaller birds like chickadees, nuthatches and wrens, and they can be accessible in hopper or tray feeders. Whole peanuts (without the shell) can fit into many mesh feeders, and clinging birds like woodpeckers can pull the seeds through the mesh.
Seed Mixes - Seed mixes provide the benefit of attracting multiple bird species to a single feeder. With a blend of different seeds, you can cater to all types of bird preferences. Some premium seed mixes even combine dried fruits with nuts and seeds to provide extra delicious nutrition!
About Lyric® Wild Bird Seed
At birdfeeders.com we want to be sure we deliver only the best quality bird seed to our customers. That’s why we choose to offer only Lyric® Wild Bird Seed. Lyric® is the preferred brand of backyard birders from coast to coast. They provide the finest natural ingredients, hand-crafted quality and specific mixes that attract more birds all year long. For generations now, Lyric® Wild Bird Food has provided backyard bird watchers a premium birding experience - and that takes a premium product. Birds know the difference. The hand-crafted, carefully selected ingredients attract the widest variety of birds while providing unparalleled nutrition.