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Review: Best Wild Bird Seeds Right Now
Last updated: 20 Jul 2021
Putting out food for wild birds is a great way to bring wildlife to your lawn or garden. Not all types of feed attract the same kinds of birds, but seeds are definitely a favorite of songbirds. Having songbirds fills your backyard with chirping sounds that bring a deep sense of serenity, while also allowing you to do a good thing by feeding wild birds.
The following list of the best wild bird seeds in 2021 has been picked by our team because they offer an extremely healthy mix of ingredients that are very energizing for birds, attract some of the rarest types of songbirds, are easy to use with traditional feeders, and contain no filler content.
There is a mix of 11 high-quality ingredients in this birdseed blend, making it very attractive for many types of songbirds. These seeds don’t contain any artificial dyes, making them perfectly safe for birds to consume. The seeds come well-packaged so they are fresh and free from any bugs or mold.
Premium ingredients include seeds, corn, nuts, and raisins, ensuring the most number of songbird types are attracted to your feeder
Healthy mix, contains up to 26% of crude fiber and 13% crude protein
40% of the blend is made with sunflower, which is strongly preferred by birds and readily eaten by some
The bag is not resealable to maintain freshness once opened
Feeding this food to birds will energize them to last the whole day, as it contains a gourmet blend of natural nutrition-packed ingredients that every bird needs, including fruits, shell-free nuts, and seeds. The presence of nuts in this feed also makes it attractive to squirrels, so you might have some competition in your yard.
Does not contain any filler, hence no waste product is left or spilled out of the feeder
Suitable for use with all types of feeders including tray, hopper, tube, and wire mesh feeders
You will have birds like buntings, grosbeaks, or blue jays singing in your lawn in no time after you add this food in the feeder
Has chunky nut pieces that might not be suitable for birds
This forty-pound bag of bird food will last you a long time, but there are plenty of other reasons to love it including its no-filler food content, compatibility with all types of bird feeders, and premium quality ingredients like peanuts, raisins, and sunflower seeds that attract a wide-variety of wild birds to your backyard.
Attracts a wide variety of songbirds due to its sunflower seed ingredient
Contains small seeds that are appropriate for many bird types
Economical bag, containing 40lbs of feed that should last you a long time
Contains peanuts that can attract chipmunks and raccoons
If one of your favorite things is to watch and listen to wild birds flutter and sing in your backyard, then you definitely want to attract as many different types of birds as you want. Many things attract wild birds to a place, like a water basin and feeders with delicious bird food – which we will refer to as wild bird seeds in this guide.
However, you can’t waltz into a supermarket and buy just any wild bird seeds you find on the stand. There are many varieties and brands of wild bird seeds, and not all birds eat any type of seeds. Hence you must choose a particular variety of seeds for wild birds that can attract some of the rarest types of birds to your garden.
Choosing the best wild bird seeds depends on so many factors, which can be quite confusing, but luckily, this wild bird seed buying guide will give you a thorough insight into these factors.
What Are The Common Types Of Wild Bird Seeds?
Here’s a list of the most common wild bird seeds.
Sunflower seeds are arguably the most popular wild bird seeds and for good reason. Many bird species love them, they are relatively cheap, and are quite easy to find. Sunflower seeds come in three varieties, each unique in its own way.
Black Oil Sunflower Seed
Black Oil sunflower seeds are the most popular sunflower seeds. They have a high oil content that appeals to the taste buds of many bird species and are less expensive than the alternative: striped sunflower seed. The shells of black oil seeds are relatively thinner and smaller, which makes them easy to crack open. Because of their relatively small sizes, a bag of black oil seeds will contain more seeds than a bag of striped sunflower seeds of the same size.
The species of birds that love black oil sunflower seeds include Titmice, Chickadees, Jays, House and Purple Finches, Sparrows, Woodpeckers, Buntings, Cardinals, Nuthatches, Grosbeaks, and Pine siskins.
Striped Sunflower Seed
Striped sunflower seeds are larger, more expensive, have thicker shells, and are less common than black oil sunflower seeds. This variety of sunflower seeds appeals to larger birds since they have strong beaks to crack open the strong shells.
They are the least favorite sunflower seeds among bird species. If you make a feed mix of black oil and striped sunflower seeds, the birds will eat the striped ones last because they prefer the ease of consuming black oil seeds.
The species of birds that love striped sunflower seeds include Cardinals, Nutcrackers, Grosbeaks, Jays, Nuthatches, Titmice, Grackles, and Woodpeckers.
Safflower seeds are large oval seeds with thick shells. If you often encounter interference by squirrels and blackbirds while bird feeding, well here’s some good news. Safflower seeds do not appeal to blackbirds and squirrels, most likely because of how they taste.
Jays, House Finches, Nuthatches, Woodpeckers, and Cardinals all love safflower seeds.
Also known as thistle or nyjer seeds, this variety of wild bird seeds is highly preferred by Finches. This is most likely because of their incredibly small sizes and thin shells. These seeds are rich in oil, and this makes them a good choice for winter bird feeding.
Nyjer seeds typically come sterilized to prevent them from sprouting, essentially preserving their edibility.
Feeding birds with Nyjer, however, has its disadvantages. Due to their small size, Nyjer seeds are easily blown away by the wind. They are also highly vulnerable to spoilage.
Chickadees, Doves, House Finches, Pine siskins, Goldfinches, and Purple Finches are attracted by Nyjer seeds.
White Proso Millet
Commonly known as Millet, this seed is one of the favorites of ground-feeding birds. It often comes as part of birdseed mixes, but it can be bought separately too.
One downside of feeding birds with white proso millet is that it may attract undesired birds like blackbirds and house sparrows, so it is not a good choice if these bird species are in the area.
Birds that love white proso millet include Towhees, sparrows, doves, blackbirds, and grackles.
Shelled And Cracked Corn
Shelled corn, also known as whole kernel corn is a great seed choice for wild birds. However, only large birds like crows, grackles, ravens, ducks, and wild turkeys can crack it open and eat it.
Cracked corn on the other hand is basically shelled corn that has been sliced and diced into pieces. It is quite inexpensive, just like shelled corn, and it can be eaten by several birds including juncos, starlings, cowbirds, jays, magpies, quail, doves, sparrows, cowbirds, and towhees.
Corn seeds have their disadvantages. Corn is susceptible to contamination by aflatoxins, which are toxic to both humans and birds and can be fatal in some cases. To protect your corn from aflatoxin, never allow it to get moist, and don’t buy corn in plastic bags. Offer corn in fairly small amounts that can be consumed at once by the birds, especially in humid weather conditions.
Another downside of corn is that it attracts invasive animals like deers, raccoons, bears, geese, starlings, cowbirds, and house sparrows.
Shelled And Unshelled Peanuts
Peanuts are healthy options for your feathered friends. They contain high nutritional amounts of fat and protein which are great for birds during the winter season.
There are two forms of peanuts for bird feeding - shelled and unshelled.
Unshelled peanuts are peanuts that are still in the shell and many times only bigger birds like jays, grackles, magpies, some woodpeckers, and crows can eat it.
Shelled peanuts on the other hand are rid of the thick shell and, for this reason, they can be eaten by just about every bird, like cowbirds, ravens, titmice, chickadees, nutcrackers crows, jays, cowbirds, grackles, and magpies.
Wild Bird Seed FAQ
How do I know if bird seeds have gone bad?
Bird seeds may go bad due to poor storage, extreme weather conditions, and insect infestation. To ensure that you don’t feed your birdies with bad bird seeds, you must check for signs of spoilage.
Inspect the seed for the presence of live or dead adult insects or larvae. Seed discoloration is also a strong sign of spoilage, so check for that too
Sniff the seeds for strong, sharp, and unusual odors that may indicate the presence of mold and mildew
Check the seed for clumps and moisture. Moist, lumped seeds are bad or will eventually go bad
If the seeds are sprouting, they have gone bad
How do I store bird seeds properly?
Storing your bird seeds the right way will protect the health of the birds you feed and save you the costs of buying new seeds all the time. Here are some tips on how to store your wild bird seeds properly:
Store your bird seeds in a dry place away from sunlight.
Choose the right size of the container to store your seeds.
Select seed containers made from durable materials like heavy-duty plastic and galvanized metal that will not break or get damaged over time.
Make sure that the lids of your birdseed containers are tightly sealed to prevent the entry of insects and rodents. Also, ensure that the lids are watertight too to protect the seeds from mold and mildew growth.
Why do birds throw seeds out of a feeder?
Birds are not food wasters. There are a couple of reasons why birds throw their seeds out of a feeder.
Birds may throw out cheap/bad seeds in search of the good ones at the bottom of the feeder
If you are serving bird feed mixes, they may throw out the feed varieties they don’t like in search of the ones they prefer
Your bird feeder may also contribute to this. With table feeders, for example, birds may kick seeds to the ground by just hovering around the feeder
Note: Some bird seeds like sunflower seeds have outer husks that these birds remove before eating the seed inside. If you look closely, you may find out that what you thought were seeds are husks.
Tamyra is an avid bird watcher, and you’ll often find her in her local park observing the avian wildlife. From cardinals to bald eagles, Tamyra’s seen it all in person and is happy to share her first-hand knowledge with others.