Best Bird Seeds of 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

best bird seed

So, you are ready to feed the birds? Let’s do a quick list check; birdseed feeder, feeder pole or S hook to hang the feeder, maybe a baffle or two to deter the squirrels and protect the seeds and the last ingredient to successful birding – getting the best bird seed especially picked for the precious source of happiness – the colorful birds.

There are many types of birdseeds around, each one manufactured to specific bird type so knowing each one is an important birding skill. Certainly, one of the most significant talents is to know that not all birds like seeds. You can’t just throw in corncobs to any birds especially small ones. However, adding other types of bird food or mixed seeds can be an awesome treat to the feathery friends.

After all, what is better way to attract birds than to give them what they need – a good buffet.

Some of the most common foods that can be included in the mix are suet, fruit, nectar and even nuts.

To be guided on what to do, I have put together a set of bird seeds that your flying friends might keep on coming back for.

Best Bird Seeds 2019

Mix or Blend

If you live in an area populated by common birds, there are wild seeds around and they can be seriously good at attracting birds too, when manufactured seed mixing does not work.

In fact, the most common mistake of beginners is choosing birdseeds for birds that might not be in the area. It is a cute gesture but it might take forever before the target bird arrives or not at all.

So to enjoy birding, look for the species already in the area, nurture them and help them populate better and faster. Of course getting the best wild bird seed will also help.

1. Wagner’s 62034 Greatest Variety Blend

It’s the best treats one can give to the pretty birds – the songbirds. This pack of goodness has 11 different ingredients making it ultra appetizing and filling. It’s no surprise then why I like this product. It is perfect for my favorite birds too.

I am recommending this beautiful product for two reasons: it can be placed on a tube, hopper or platform and it can be your best bet to attract the most beautiful birds. The combination of seeds and sunflower makes it even more attractive.

Putting up a buffet of good birdseeds will allow other birds to be on it the moment the spread is out for the taking.

When other birds come by, you can relax and simply watch the collection of birds while enjoying their feast of quality birdseeds.
What We Liked
  • Contains 6 lbs of highly nutritious seeds
  • A gourmet blend that most birds love
  • It has 11 different ingredients
  • Value for money
What We Didn't Like
  • Allows multiple birds to come at once so you need to increase number of feeders

2. Wagner’s 13002 Four Season Wild Bird Food

Every birder knows that birds are active social species and they are always ready to try out any areas with a seemingly active feeding activity. However, when the seeds offered aren’t to their liking, they tend to retreat and never comes back. They are in constant lookout for new places to go.

So getting the correct seeds in addition to purchasing an attractive bird feeder is the key. If you want your yard to be frequented by beautifully colored birds, here is your chance – the four-season wild bird food by Wagner.

Each bag of seed contains common birdseeds to attract all varieties but it also has sunflower as a treat to the lively songbirds and cardinals.

If there’s only one con to this product, it might be that many birds will frequent the product as much as possible. Keeping a good supply means a necessity.
What We Liked
  • Value for money
  • Contains seed common to most migrant birds
  • It is blended for year round feeding. No need to change depending on season
  • Quality seed made in the USA
What We Didn't Like
  • Loved by birds so keeping a good supply is necessary

3. Lyric Fruit & Nut High Energy Wild Bird Mix

Who does not like fruits and nuts? Definitely not the birds. This bag of goodness is not to be shied away from. It is the best thing you can offer the birds especially during the cold season.

I like this product because it is not only a blend of selected fruits but it is full of energy made of natural ingredients. For those, it is perfect for chickadees, cardinals and other colorful and lively birds. Also, you can rest assured of freshness as it is packed in resealable bag hence it will last for a time.

There are so many great things about this product: mixed nuts, high-energy mix and organic. No wonder birders rated this 5 stars all throughout. It’s been a great deal in welcoming the birds to their new nest and source of healthy food. This product is observed to be highly popular in states such as Alberta, Southern California, Central Florida and Arizona.

Although it has good ratings, there’s that small flaw of having moth and maggots when exposed to the elements for some time. Remember to seal the bag after opening it.
What We Liked
  • Highly nutritious mixed birdseeds
  • Fruits and nuts loved by all types of birds for all season
  • Natural ingredients
  • Value for money
  • Birders love it
What We Didn't Like
  • It can have moth and maggots easily when exposed to elements because it is organic

4. Kaytee Waste Free Bird Seed Blend

Don’t make the mistake feeding the birds the bad seed because they deserve more than that. To do this, the answer is this waste free bird by Kaytee. It is no wonder it will solve many of your problems with hungry birds.

Nothing that a 5 lb premium bag of mixed seeds can’t solve. This is why I am recommending this product. It is made of high quality mixed seeds that is high in nutrients and 100% consumable. It is both practical and an absolute value for money.

The only thing I dislike about this product is there are so many small seeds that are probably intended for small birds like songbirds, cardinals and chickadees but will never be appealing to larger birds. This fact disappoints birders too.
What We Liked
  • Practical, no waste feeds
  • Mixed of nutritious and quality food
  • Attracts all kinds of birds
  • Combination of small and big bird seeds
What We Didn't Like
  • There are small seeds in the mix that might be good for small birds only

5. Wagner’s 53001 Wild Bird Food

Yes, label says wild bird and this can be interpreted in two ways: for wild birds and they go wild. Both is achieved without a fret. This birdseed goodness is off the chart when it comes to attracting the most adorable birds into your backyard.

It is one of those products I will recommend without a doubt as it delivers its promise. You want a bird fest, you fill up your feeder with this treats. You want the best colored birds, you attract them with mixed seeds. You hate wasting bird seeds, this will be eaten fast.

I also like the fact that aside from it being an “all-purpose seeds”, it has sunflowers, which are no doubt good for the birds such as my favorite cardinals and songbirds. Because it is common and Wagner is a leading bird food manufacturer, you can avail of this variety at any local supermart and home depot.

You will ever have the problem of running out. Yes, it can be a bird day every day!
What We Liked
  • Mixed seeds for all kinds of birds
  • Value for money
  • Does not rot easily even after opening it
  • Multi grains for added nutrients
What We Didn't Like
  • You will run out easily as birds will troop to your yard for more

Sunflower

6. Wagner’s 76027 Black Oil Sunflower Seed

Trying to get those colored birds for years? Here’s a simple solution. Get them to try this black sunflower oil and see them coming nonstop into your backyard. This all season sunflower seed is considered the favorite of most wild birds.

I like to have this seeds around because it is both high in energy yet it is so easy to feed them to the birds. It’s thin shell and skin makes it easier for the birds to consume. You will have birds feeling full but will surely come back for more.

Of course, there are more reasons why I am recommending his bird: it can be used for tray and hopper feeders, high quality and it is very affordable. This is the reason why cardinals, chickadees, finches and woodpeckers come to your backyard without any problem.

Although every birder agrees that this product is great, there have been instances of dried seed shells that put the product to waste. Still, Wagner is an expert in manufacturing bird seeds. And with sunflower seed, you can never go wrong.
What We Liked
  • Attracts variety of birds
  • Sunflower is good for small yet colorful backyard birds
  • Quality product from USA
  • Shelled sunflowers for easy feeding
What We Didn't Like
  • Some incidence of dried sunflower seed shells

7. Valley Splendor Black Oil Sunflower Seeds

One of my most favorite birdseed so far is the black oil sunflower seed and it is easy to know why. This bag of black gold for the birds is such a treat for the backyard beauties. For this, I am recommending this product to all birders especially novice ones who are trying out what birds eat sunflower seeds and also because of its affordability and its attractiveness to the birds.

Since birds such as cardinals, chickadees and nuthatches love sunflower seeds, it is probably the best choice you can have in your feeders.

Choosing this kind of seed is great of you wish to rely on only one type of seed to attract small birds into your backyard. While they relish all types of seeds, sunflower has specific effect to small birds

The only problem with sunflower seeds will be the bully birds so I suggest that you put this seed into smaller feeders only.
What We Liked
  • Loved by all birds
  • Great way to attract birds in your backyard
  • Contains nutrients needs by a variety of birds
  • Can be served in tray or tube or mesh feeder
What We Didn't Like
  • Must be placed in smaller feeder to protect it from bully birds

Safflower

8. Shafer Seed Company Safflower Seed

When it comes to birdseeds, you will never go wrong with Wagner. That is at least the truth – trust me, they know what birds eat safflower seeds so you can be sure of what to put and just enjoy birding as a hobby.

I like this Shafer seed because it is the perfect seed for cardinals, which I have been trying to attract to my backyard for a long time. They are not just colorful but are actually loyal birds too. When presented with a nice feeder and seeds, they go nuts as well.

What else? One can virtually eliminate other things such as grackles with safflower feeds.

However, it is important to remember that safflower can’t be mixed with other types of seeds such as sunflowers if you want the seeds to go to the original purposes, the small cardinals or songbirds. I also recommend that they be placed in mesh feeder to avoid spillage of small seeds.
What We Liked
  • Attracts small birds such as cardinals and songbirds
  • Value for money
  • Good for any backyard
What We Didn't Like
  • Birds do not eat the shells so they tend to mess up the yard

9. Chuckanut Products 00029 Premium Safflower Seed

A beautiful bag of nuts! This is what this premium safflower is, in a nutshell. For birders who wish to feed specific birds, the Safflower is a good choice. It is both cheap, practical and loved by jays, cardinals, robins and even grosbeaks.

I love the fact that it is made of premium safflower seeds so there’s certainty that it is both delicious and nutritious. This 8 pound bag is the perfect treat to your backyard guests.

No wonder birders rated this as 5 all throughout in their online listing. Such rating is for the following reasons: high quality and reasonable cost. It’s clean seeds (no shells or debris at all) is also an added advantage.

The only suggestion is to keep the bag sealed after opening it.
What We Liked
  • High Quality seeds
  • Attracts variety of birds
  • Can be on tube or tray feeders
  • Contains needed nutrients for birds
What We Didn't Like
  • Loved by squirrels too

Nyjer or Thistle

10. Wagner’s 62047 Nyjer Seed Bird Food

Seed eating birds like finches love thistle or nyjer seeds, making it one of the most popular seeds for backyard birds. Nyjer, a small black seed from yellow daisies believe to have originated from the African varieties make this nutritious, high in oil kind of seeds that is needed by birds to build their strength.

These are the few reasons why I like this birdseed too. I love that it is a special seed for special birds and it is valued among the many seeds around. Sometimes, depending on import and supply, this seed can easily become one of the most expensive seeds available.

Foraging birds as well as other small nyjer eating birds usually have smaller but very strong, long beaks that makes it easier for them to remove the hard shells of seeds so they can it in peace and enjoyment.

As a birder, I know that nyjer eating birds are also known as clinging birds, doing their flips – feeding upside down – when they need to. It is definitely a beauty to watch while sipping your coffee in the morning. Having nyjer in your bird food list is going to save your life as a birder.

I personally like finches so this is a good seed for me. It has smaller holes and tiny perches and the small birds surely are attracted to it. Some of them even comes to crack open the shiny seed, fly away then comes back for more. It is always a fun thing to watch.
What We Liked
  • Highly nutritious seeds
  • Shiny seeds that is the favorite of finches
  • Each bag contains 150,000 seeds at least
  • Great for attracting small, colorful birds
What We Didn't Like
  • It cost more than regular backyard birdseeds

11. Kaytee Nyjer Thistle Seed

Thistle seed is always one of the most sought after birdseed variety. Not only because it is high in nutrients but because it is the favorite of finches and other small birds.

I am recommending this seed because it is high in oil content and it is the best way to attract birds to your yard. Having this seed in one of your feeders will make the birds of your choice come. It is however can be placed in a small nyjer tube or ones with other narrow feeding ports.

The only challenge is that finches do travel in large flocks which means that you might need a good amount of supply inorder for you to be able to feed them all.

Well, that is both good and bad from the birder’s point of view.
What We Liked
  • Attracts birds of all kinds
  • Small birds love nyjer
  • Highly nutritious
  • Imported seeds from the yellow daisies in Africa
What We Didn't Like
  • You need to stock up on supply. It is a bit costly as compared to other birdseeds

White Proso Millet

Millets are important part of a birds’ diet. It is lower in fat and more nutritious than common birdseeds. It is, well, also more affordable. There are few types of millet seeds.

12. Shafer Seed 84075 White Proso Millet Wild Bird Food

Winter is always a hard time, even for birds. It is harder to forage for food and more difficult to find a place to stay warm. This is why keeping food in your feeder backyards is the only way to go.

So I am glad that this seed is available in the market. It provides the nutrients the birds need while looking at ways to keep them and you happy watching the birds feast on your wild bird food.

Millet food is good for specific type of bird so having them around and in good supply means that you will also have a constant number of visitors in your yard. One of my favorite feathery guest when I put up this millet seed is the songbird. It is a beauty to behold in my garden.

Another thing I like about this product is its possibility to be mixed with other birdseeds enjoyed by more birds. Whatever I choose, it is good for my flying friends especially during the wintertime.
What We Liked
  • High nutritious food for winter birds
  • Attracts variety of birds
  • Good for the winter time
  • Does not get moldy even during the cold months
What We Didn't Like
  • Bad packaging. Secure it using a resealable bag after opening

Golden Millet

13. Kaytee Spray Millet

This cereal grown in hard soil, mostly in warm countries can bring absolute benefits to the birds of your choice. This highly palatable millet bird seeds are a treat and are great for both encouraging birds to eat and weaning more mature birds.

I like this seeds because of the following reasons: it has bigger seeds, cheaper as compared to others and nutritious, perfect for your bird’s diet. Unlike other seeds, this spray millet by Kaytee is of natural color, keeping everything more organic.

For birds to be healthy, it is better to give more natural seeds commonly found in their natural habitat. Having it in your feeder is a real treat to your birds. Because it is cheap, it may not be as effective as other seeds.

Some of the cons are that the bags by Kaytee were found to have extra stalks in them – not beneficial at all.
What We Liked
  • Cheap millet seeds
  • Highly nutritious
  • Parrots and other home birds love them
  • Grains are more natural
  • Seed for weaning birds
What We Didn't Like
  • Bags from Kaytee has extra stalks

Shelled and Cracked Corn

14. Wagner’s 18542 Cracked Corn

Corn is a staple food for many birds and in many parts of the world, humans too. This means that corn is proven to be a healthy, practical and sustainable food for the birds.

There’s no reason why I can’t love this bag of goodness. It is extraordinary and absolutely one of the reasons why the birds keep coming back for more. Aside from feeder eating birds, the cracked corns can be scattered on the ground for other backyard wildlife to enjoy.

This and more can be done without breaking the bank on monthly expenses for seeds alone. Another reason I like this product is because it can be fed on its own or it can be mixed with other seeds for the birds’ full enjoyment. In terms of quality, it is tested and assured—a true American quality.

It is no wonder expert birders love them too. One negative side will probably just that a lot of birds will come for it too.
What We Liked
  • Appealing to most birds
  • Attracts ground feeding birds
  • Convenient for all types of birds
What We Didn't Like
  • Ground feeders will come and crowd your ground

Peanuts

Peanuts are excellent birdseed as it is healthier than other seed types. It contains over 25% protein and quite a good percentage of fat needed by birds especially during the cold months.

15. Lyric Peanut Pieces Wild Bird Food

Peanuts are attention getters and why not when they are not just nutritious, they are also both smooth and crunchy. So, like many birders out there, I love this lyric peanut in my feeders. I also recommend it for the same reason: attract more birds.

I love that it is perfect for nuthatches and chickadees, finches, jays and woodpeckers. Because it is nutritious and does not easily crack, it is a no mess bird food, making feeding a lot more fun and easier.

Another great thing is that it is already shelled. Perhaps, only con is you need to prepare more feeders as they will surely come for more. There will be more birds coming over both on the feeder and on the ground.

While it is a bit more expensive, it should be worth it as you get to invite colorful birds without a problem.
What We Liked
  • Attracts variety of birds
  • Already shelled, no mess bird food
  • Peanuts are attention getter
What We Didn't Like
  • Needs more feeder as more will come to your yard
  • A bit more costly than other feeds

16. Peanuts Shelled Bird Feed

It’s peanuts so who would not like it? None. Nuts are high in nutrition and attracts woodpeckers and other smaller birds that’s why I love this product. It is of high quality seeds of lovely, clean and fat healthy peanuts as birders have described.

Personally, I like having this in my backyard feeder because I like woodpeckers visiting my home – their red heads and white wing patches are great to look at especially when I need to relax. What else is better way to do it than birdwatch.

This product, made exclusively by prdseed, a US based company assures of no messy skins, fully-shelled and blanched peanuts that makes birds go ‘nuts’ at all times. Aside from its nutrients, the peanuts are easy to eat because of its smaller size. At some point jays come and feast on them too.

I am also recommending this product for its cost – an affordable bag of goodness – hence making birding as a hobby more affordable.

If there’s any cons, you might get more birds than expected including cardinals on good days. That means having to feed more. Production wise, you might want to transfer it to another packaging to maintain frehness of seeds.
What We Liked
  • Already shelled peanuts
  • No papery cover
  • Attracts woodpeckers, jays and cardinals
  • Perfect for squirrel buster feeder
What We Didn't Like
  • Transfer to another packaging after opening to maintain freshness of the seeds

Milo

17. Morning Song 11974 Dove and Ground Feeding Wild Bird Food

I do love smaller birds. I find them more amusing and cute. They also fly beautifully too. But having ground feeders in my yard balances the look and the activities in my backyard. Having them brings the sound, the feel and a more active bird yard.

So if you are like me who likes to have the bigger birds around once in awhile, sprinkle a little bit of this Morning Song wild bird food just below your secured feeder and you have unlimited supply of flying feathery friends in your yard.

I think that putting it on a platform feeder for turkeys, pigeons and ducks to enjoy will be a good way to watch a feasting bunch of nice looking birds. Another way is to simply sprinkle directly on the ground in small amounts for ground feeders to enjoy.

Of course, I also love that it is made of red milo, millet and back oil sunflower, which are both nutritious and filling. No wonder expert birders rated it 5 in most online review sites.
What We Liked
  • Healthy, nutritious seeds
  • Attracts plenty of birds both flying and ground feeders
  • Value for money
  • Can be placed in tray or tube feeders
What We Didn't Like
  • There’s not a lot of millet inside for doves

Others

18. Kaytee Mealworms

One of the most protein rich bird food is mealworm and Kaytee is doing well on that aspect. Hence, this is one of the bird food recommended by many birders. For many, this could be the ultimate bird food especially during the winter months when birds needs more body heat and mass. As a birder, knowing what do birds eat in the winter or in summer is an important aspect in ensuring that you are providing enough care for your birds.

One thing I really like about this bird food is it keeps the energy level of baby birds and it can be fed alone in either a feeder or it can be mixed with other seeds for their enjoyment. Because it is nutritious and tasty, it attracts a variety of songbirds such as cardinals, blue jays, wrens and many robins. It will take no time before the birds go nuts after placing this great bird food.

I love mealworms. At one point, during refill time, I got birds following me on the yard, waiting to devour this once living organisms.

The only con: this bag contains dried mealworms and some birds prefer moist ones so soaking in water might help.
What We Liked
  • Extra high protein content
  • Attracts a variety of birds in your yard
  • An important source of food for baby birds
What We Didn't Like
  • Soak some in water to moisten it. A preference of bluebirds.

19. Wildlife Sciences High Energy Suet

Many birds love suet as it resembles whatever food they can get from the wild surroundings. I can say I love suet for the same reason.

The best suet food contains beef, cracked corn or processed grains, important for the development of birds. This suet made my wildlife sciences make it the best choice so far. It is not only quite cheaper but also carries everything the birds need for them to enjoy and grow faster.

Woodpeckers are suet eaters, and to attract them better, you need to use a better suet feeder. Their long beaks will reach the suet but a little help will surely go a long way. This help includes smooth suet so the birds like them a lot.

The only downside will probably be the fact that it has no plastic or any protective covering so when it is placed under humidity for some time, it gets a bit softer and eventually cracks, this despite the claim for melt-resistant. Some ground feeder eats them but a lot get wasted.
What We Liked
  • Attracts a variety of birds: woodpeckers, finches, orioles
  • It is highly nutritious
  • Can be put in the feeder all year round
What We Didn't Like
  • It has no protective covering

20. Wagner’s 42032 Cardinal Blend Bucket

Yes, something exclusively for cardinals. These amazing birds in reddish olive, black and gray are something everyone should look forward to in their bird backyard. Northern cardinals are the best to attract, as their vibrant colors will surely contrast your white winter snow.

And Wagner’s is ready to help attract them into the yard with nothing but their cardinal blend birdseeds. I love this bird seed because it is loaded with sunflower and safflower—cardinal staples. At a cost that is only a fraction of expensive brands, this product will surely make you a very happy birder.

I am recommending it because unlike others, it has a mixture of high oil content seeds that is extremely relevant in ensuring healthy and lively cardinals.

At times, this Wagner seed can be mixed with other birdseeds. A true American product this bucket of seed goodness if assured of quality but yes, it can be a bit more expensive than other barnds.
What We Liked
  • Produced for cardinals
  • Attracts variety of birds too including doves, jays and woodpeckers
  • Sunflower and safflower are highly nutritious
What We Didn't Like
  • A bit more costly than other brands

21. Volkman Avian Science Super Canary Bird Seed

Anyone who fancies “canaries?” I don’t but these multicolored feathered friends do attract the attention of a lot of people, the yellow and red varieties are the most beautiful.

So if you fancy canaries, this bag of birdseeds, exclusively for canaries is your best choice. I also like to use it whenever I want to enjoy the view of these small yet magnificent birds in my yard.

Of course there’s more to it than attracting birds to come. The seed variety itself is nutritionally balance with enough vitamins and minerals embedded in its selected grains. The mixture is all-natural so you will have canaries that are healthy and active.

It is such a good quality seed so it is all worth the money. For better spread, you can even combine it with other seeds.

Most birders love this seed even if it is priced a bit more than other seeds in the market.
What We Liked
  • Nutritious and balanced bird food
  • Attracts other kinds of birds
  • Can be mixed with other seeds
  • Developed for canaries
What We Didn't Like
  • A bit more expensive but it’s worth the value

22. Perky-Pet 238 Hummingbird Nectar

If you have been following my blog, you know that I am Perky-pet fan and I have every reason to be – quality and price.

There are many birds that I would love to come visit my feeders but among them, hummingbird tops the list. Hence, it is no wonder I love this nectar concentrate is so appealing to me.

The red color of the concentrate is enough to attract the hummers but for sure the flavorful nectar will make them come for more. Perky-pet boasts of 100 percent sucrose, which helps the hummers for their growth and active movements.

But the best thing about feeding hummers is that the nectars are beautiful inside their clear tube plus it is easy to refill – just add water.

The only downside, it can get rotten when it stays untouched inside the tube for a long time.
What We Liked
  • Manufactured for hummingbirds
  • 100 percent sucrose, staple for hummers
  • Easy to use
What We Didn't Like
  • A bit expensive than other similar products
  • It can get rotten when not finished at once

23. Songbird Essentials SE629 Clear Hummingbird Nectar

Dubbed as the hummingbird magnet of many expert birders, this can of sweet treats is a must have. This clear hummingbird nectar made by Songbird essentials are perfect for clear tubes hanging under the patio or the trees. Mounted nectar tubes are also good places to put it.

I love this nectar for two things: quality and quantity. With 96 ounces, I do not have to worry abut getting a new one so often – waiting for delivery is such a hassle. It gets easily mixed up with cold or warm water so refill times were never made easier.

As a birder, we know that sucrose keeps the hummers on their feet and their wings. It boosts their energy level and helps improve their feather colors. While it is perfectly alright to create your own mix of water and sugar to create a nectar, the red color of this Songbird essentials attract birds a lot easier.

If there’s the downside, it is more costly than home made sucrose nectar but with time and efficiency in question, this one works well.
What We Liked
  • Attracts hummingbird with its bright red color
  • Contains 100 sucrose
  • Comes in big can, to last a long time
What We Didn't Like
  • More expensive that other brands or home made

24. Kaytee Products Squirrel & Critter Blend Food

Don’t just feed birds feeds all other species found in your garden. This will ensure a more symbiotic relationship between living organisms in your yard. This Kaytee product for squirrels and critter will ensure that the most important thing – the seed – is away from the prying eyes of the squirrel or other predators.

I like this blend of food as it solves my squirrel problems. Yes, the best way to keep the squirrels is to provide them food, keep them full so they won’t need to steal food from your other feeders ever again.

To keep the squirrels happy, this bag of blended food contains healthy corn, nuts and seeds that are great for their health and nutrients. Also, the 10 lb bag will surely go a long way, and a long time so the sealable packaging is great to ensure freshness of the seed even after sometime. Sealing it will also prevent pests from infesting the precious seeds.

Yes, the seed is by far the most successful squirrel seed/food and it is quite alright to splurge a bit more just to maintain quality of food and quality of your backyard.

The only downside is probably the squirrels trying to emigrate to your backyard because of this, and its probably not your choice of backyard pets.
What We Liked
  • Attract squirrels and critters
  • Will keep the squirrels away from your feeders
  • Squirrels and critters love it. Jays too!
What We Didn't Like
  • Squirrels might come back often because of the treats

25. Songbird Essentials Ear Corn

Squirrels, many actually hate them?

But they very popular type of either pet, pest of critters. And having them in the backyard can be a boon or a bane. There are times they make somersaults that will send you laughing all the way or anger you when they go steal someone else’s intended food.

To attract or to send them away from your other feeders, you must equip your yard with a great feeder and the feeds that they can try and come back for more. If unsure, I am recommending this ear corn by Songbird essentials. Squirrels naturally like corn so you will never have to wonder if they’ll like it or not and Songbird essentials know that hence this bag of 12 corns is hard to miss.

I like these full corncobs as they are easy to put in a hanging fashion or a special squirrel feeder. It is fascinating to see them in action, eating away the kernels around the cob, making all weird, sometimes desperate deadly positions. At a cheap price, I can sit out and watch my other feeders with their colorful birds and the corn devoured by squirrels on the far side. Brings me good smile always.

The downside, the squirrels are naturally voracious eaters so expect them to finish a cob too soon, too quick.
What We Liked
  • Attracts squirrels easily
  • The corn cobs are easy to hang or mount on a squirrel feeder
  • No rinsing, preparation needed
What We Didn't Like
  • Squirrels can finish off fast

What is a Bird Seed

best wild bird seed

Bird seeds are special blends to keep the avian pets in their best shape, colors and feather. These seeds are staple for pet birds and they can come in many mixes: sunflower, safflowers, nyjer, millets among the many. The tasty nugget in some bird seeds never fail to appeal to birds.

Types of Bird Seeds

Types-of-Bird-Seeds

There are a variety of birdseed mixes both expensive and cheaper ones that birds can enjoy anytime of the year. Many of them contain a huge amount of millet as well as smaller ones like sunflower seeds or grains. To add more health nutrients, wheat can be mixed as well. Some of the most popular are:

  • Mix or Blend. They are often more expensive mixes to keep the birds at the best of their health.
  • Sunflower. These seeds are perfect for colorful birds such as cardinals. They are both healthy and easy to digest kinds.
  • Safflower. Cardinals love safflower too but squirrels hate them so it is wise to choose this kind. It can protect your feeder from the pesky squirrels.
  • Nyjer or Thistle. This African goodness is what gold finches are considered to die for.
  • Proso or millet. This small but cheap grain is nutritious, practical and a good way to attract a variety of birds craving for a good mix.
  • Shelled and cracked corn. A help for birds’ digestion, corn kernels are healthy, non-sprout seeds that are perfect for bird mix or on its own. Ground feeders love this seeds too.
  • Peanuts. Healthy in fat, peanuts are special treat for jays but squirrels love them as well. Peanuts are great for mixes to make it more fun for our avian friends.
  • Milo. Produced for low tray feeders or on the ground for birds foraging on the ground. Jays and thrashers also like milo in their regular diet.
  • Golden Millet. Commonly used as fillers in many packaged birdseed and many birds ignore, millets are staple for wrens and juncos.
  • Others. Many more expensive mixes are available in the market, online and on store, for many birds to enjoy. Some of the most desirable seeds are pumpkin seeds, mealworms and even fruit seeds. They are loved by woodpeckers, cardinals, hummingbirds and many other types of bird pets.

Benefits of Bird Food

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Birding, like keeping a dog, requires knowing the what, the how and the why. Knowing the benefits of each type of bird seed and what it is for will help you enjoy your hobby more. Bird seeds usually have three major benefits: pellets provide balanced nutrition than ordinary seeds, keeps their body warm during the winter and helps develop their feather colors.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Bird Seed

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Observing many birds for quite a while, I can zero in on few things that are important in choosing the right bird seed they may want or need:

  • Birdseed Mix. Seeds that can be mixed with other types of seeds are more practical and convenient. It means inviting a variety of birds in your garden too – one stop shop for birds.
  • Nutritional Value. Some birds need sucrose, some fats, some proteins so knowing which birds you are trying to attract will let you decide which seed you should buy.
  • Quality vs quantity. Most birdseed comes in big packaging, which is great as they are generally cheaper but consider quality too. Some contains unnecessary ingredients such as stalks or other seeds. Read labels and reviews well before clicking that purchase button.
  • Price. There are affordable seeds from reputable seed companies. Do your research an compare/contrast each one. However, a little more dollars might actually save you more money in the long run.

Frequently Asked Questions

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How to make your own bird seed?

Depending on what type of bird are you feeding, you can actually make some bird food t home. Some of the most common bird food made at home are:

  • Suet Cakes. Made out of oats and selected grains, you can have your own mixture at home. Simply soften the suet with water and melt in a pan, mix in some oats, seeds such nuts, sunflower of even bread crumbs, let it cool for a while and voila, you can make a ball or a square suet for your feeder.
  • Nectar. The easiest perhaps as you simply need to mix some cane sugar and water. Ratio is 4:1, let it cool and pour in the sweet mixture to your tube feeder. Read food coloring can be added too to attract the hummers.
  • Corn cobs. Buy dried corns, moisten it a little with water and put in the squirrel feeder stick or simply hang in. No sweat!
  • Junco Cornbread. Mix all ingredients together: cornmeal, baking powder, some fat like oil or lard and enough water. Bake in 375 degrees F for 30 minutes and place in your feeder. It is healthy and cheap!

How to avoid filler seeds?

Read labels and reviews. It is good to invest in seed blends that have low levels of fillers like millet and flax. That ensures less wasted seeds and yes, healthier birds.

How to make bird seed blocks?

This is common to suet cakes. Investing on a molder might be the trick. Baked bird seeds like cornbread and cooked suet might need a nice molder to create that desired block. A birdseed ball is also an affordable alternative. Hang it on a tree, a post, a patio and let the birds enjoy.

How to make bird seed balls?

When the seed mixture of nuts, oats and in some cases corn meals is about to cool off, create a ball of your desired size, insert the string and let it totally dry. It is ready to hang after few minutes.

Are birdseed ornaments safe?

Birdseed ornaments add color and that festive feel into your yard. Most ornaments are easy and fun to make. You can add laces, colors, and tassels but safety should still be a priority. To do this, do not include choking materials in the mixture such as glitters and plastic materials. Go organic and use natural food coloring instead.

What birdseed is the best for songbirds?

Bird experts rank black oil sunflower seeds as the most popular seeds for songbirds. Reasons given are the small sizes and texture that birds love. Naturally, they like seeds that come directly from plants and luckily, nyjer or thistle seeds are popular among finches. This African seed is a good addition to your seed banks.

Do different birds like different birdseeds?

Like humans, birds can be picky too. In fact, all birds have their own preferred food. Nectar for hummingbirds, smaller seeds for songbirds, millet seeds for doves and sparrows among others. As a birder, knowing what birds frequents your yard helps you decide which seed to buy.

How to store your extra birdseed?

Storing bird seeds can be tricky especially during the colder months. Some seeds, when wet, can get moldy encouraging more bacteria to grow. Keeping the extra seeds from possible moisture is the way to go. You can store excess birdseed in appropriate-sized container. Tight sealed glass or strong plastic containers are your best options. Smaller containers are better if you intend to carry them during refills.

Why have the birds stopped eating the seeds I put out?

There can be a variety of factors on why birds will snob the seeds:

  • It contains millets which does not attract common birds such as songbird groups.
  • The color is not attractive enough (red for hummingbirds)
  • The feeder is hard to eat from. Some feeders have very small opening. Check it!
  • Mix seeds was not mixed well. The sunflower seeds could be at the bottom. Make sure the mixing is equal.

What birdseed does not sprout?

Whole corns has the tendency to germinate but cracked ones don’t. Some nyjer and shelled peanuts are also no mess birdseed varieties. High quality nyjers are well-heated during the production process so they no longer sprout. Some stubborn ones that ended up germinating does not stay alive for long.

Where is the best place to buy birdseed?

Are you in a hurry? Are the birds out of bird seed now? Then your nearest Walmart or home depot is the best choice. Since most seeds are packed in opaque bags, it means you can’t really see the seeds from the packaging alone. Some have a small portion that is clear for you to check for extra millets and stalks so seeing the product in reality might be a good option. If you can wait or far from these big shopping chains, amazon always offer better prices, bigger packaging, delivery options which makes it a more lucrative option than store bought ones.

Conclusion

Choosing the best bird seed can be very tricky especially if you have a variety of feathery visitors in different seasons. However, stocking up on seed types is also not advisable. Some birds can be very picky while some would just devour anything you provide. Whatever that is, it is good to make sure you know which bird comes at a particular time and be prepared with the best birdseed for them to have a healthy and fun visit. Most birds come back to a particular yard that provides them the best food every season.

Best Bird Seeds of 2019 – Buyer’s Guide
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