What’s the Best Food to Put in Bird Feeders?

Do you have bird feeders in your backyard but birds aren’t showing up as often as you want them to. You might want to put out more of these seeds and nuts to attract more birds. Not to mention, you’ll be providing your birds with healthy, delicious, and nutritious options that will definitely keep them coming back to your backyard!

whats the best food to put in bird feeders

Here are some of the best seeds to put in your feeders:

  1. Black-oil sunflower seeds are the most popular options and almost all birds will eat black-oil sunflower happily! Since the shell of the black-oil sunflower is thin, it’s easy to crack so most birds will be able to crack it easily. If birds are not able to crack the seeds, they will wait under your feeder and eat up any fallen seeds! Black-oil sunflower seeds have a good healthy fat content and are excellent for feeding birds in the winter when fewer people are feeding birds through bird feeders and birds have a harder time feeding themselves.
  2. Peanuts that are shelled or unshelled, dry-roasted, and unsalted provide great nutritious values, particularly fat and protein for your bird friends! You can purchase specific bird feeders that are intended for peanuts. Birds like jays, woodpeckers, chickadees, and titmice will keep on coming back to your backyard for this delicious treat. Peanuts in their shell are ideal for woodpeckers and jays but are not ideal for smaller birds since they are difficult for them to open up and they would prefer unshelled peanuts since they’re easy to eat for smaller birds.
  3. Nyjer/thistle seed are the favorites of small finches, like goldfinches, Cassin’s finches, pine siskins, and redpolls! Since they’re tiny, their best places in smaller bird feeders with skinnier tubes and feeding ports ideal for storing nyjer/thistle seeds. Manufacturers offer bird feeders that are specifically built for nyjer/thistles seeds. While they can be expensive, it’s important to look after your seeds, especially in wet and humid weather since the nyjer/thistle seeds can go rancid and moldy very quickly. You don’t want to feed this to your birds since it can be dangerous for them. You’ll know your seeds have gone bad if your birds are not feeding on the nyjer/thistle seeds as often.
  4. Safflower seeds are loved by many birds and are especially loved by northern cardinals. Safflower feeds can be stored in all feeders. But, keep an eye on your seeds because if they get wet and soggy, they can be inedible and not very appetizing for your birds.
  5. Mixed seeds are great because they’re like a buffet for your bird friends and there’s something to all of the birds! Make sure that you’re avoiding bad seed mixes that are not healthy for birds since they can be filled with unhealthy junk. Good mixed seeds feature black-oil sunflower seeds, cracked corn, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and dried fruits, which are all great for birds! I recommend reading the ingredients before purchasing a bag, but you can also make your own seed mix and it’s cheaper too!
  6. Cracked corn is loved by blackbirds, jays, quails, and sparrows! Cracked corn is a little indulgent so make sure you keep it under moderation since it can be unhealthy! Corn on the cob is not ideal for birds because it’s too big for the birds to digest, while cracked corn is broken into smaller bites and is much easier to eat!

Alongside with a good supply of bird feed, you want to keep a supply of freshwater for drinking as well as bathing! Make sure you regularly clear out old water and replenish it with fresh water for your furry friends!

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Gabriel Tackett
Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at Ballachy.com .

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