Wild Birdseed Guide
Wild bird seed mixes are also available and contain seeds to attract specific types of birds. Wild finches for example enjoy sunflower seeds, safflower seeds and Nyjer. Mixed seeds are often preferred by those birds that will visit your platform bird feeder and can also be spread on the ground.
Which kind of wild bird seed is right for your feeder? Seed mixes can vary widely in cost and in what birds they’ll attract. Here’s a guide to the most popular seeds:
Mixed Seed – Attracts a wide variety of birds. It usually contains sunflower seed and millet, along with other seeds and grains. It is excellent for both tube feeders and platform feeders. There are many different mixes, to suit the particular birds in your area.
Sunflower – A nutritious favorite of many seed-eating birds. You may prefer to buy “sunflower hearts,” pre-shelled seeds, to prevent a mess of shells underneath your feeder. However, be aware that pre-shelled seeds can spoil more quickly. If your feeder often gets wet, replace the seed frequently, or opt for unshelled seeds.
Nyjer Thistle – A fine black seed which, while expensive, is a fantastic way to attract finches and redpolls. Note that this seed may require a special feeder- the fine seeds may dribble out of a regular birdfeeder.
Safflower – A white, square-shaped seed. While not quite as popular with some birds as sunflower seeds, it’s a great choice if your birdfeeder is plagued by squirrels- squirrels tend to avoid safflower seed.
Cracked Corn and Millet– Great seed choices for platform feeders or for scattering on the ground. These foods are sought out by birds like quail, pheasants, doves, jays, and sparrows. Note that cracked corn can spoil, so it’s best on covered platform feeders.