White millet, white proso millet for wild bird feeding, wildbird birdseed

White proso millet is a major ingredient in many wild bird seed mixes, but it is also wonderful to offer to birds just by itself. The tiny seeds of white proso millet are desirable to many species of birds but it is a hands-down favorite of some species, especially doves, juncos, native sparrows, towhees, quail, and bobwhite. Two of our most colorful songbirds – painted and indigo buntings – adore white proso millet. If they're in your area and you have never seen these amazingly beautiful birds in your backyard, then white proso millet should be high on your list of backyard birdfeeding supplies. Another incredibly beautiful bird species, tanagers, will devour white proso millet even though they are not generally considered to be attracted to seeds at all.

white milletEven birds that prefer black oil sunflower seeds – cardinals, goldfinches, purple finches, and pine siskins, for example – will readily eat white proso millet if their seed of first choice is not available.

The outer shell of white proso millet is easily opened by birds with small beaks but is hard enough to protect it from the weather, making it safe to offer it on the ground – exactly where the species it attracts prefer to eat. Or, you can use it liberally in your own custom-blended seed mix, replacing the undesirable fillers found in many of the less expensive commercially available wild bird seed mixes. An added bonus is that there are so many seeds in any size bag of white proso millet, enough to keep your favorite ground-feeding backyard birds happy for quite a long time.

In spite of all the fine qualities of white proso millet, it is usually difficult to find by itself at most backyard birding supply stores. It sometimes can be found in pet supply stores along with other foods for indoor birds, but the cost is usually prohibitive and it is only offered in small quantities – another good reason to stock up!

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— written by Carla Davis; The Wild Bird Lady  (c) 2004 eBirdseed.com - Written permission required for use of images/text on these pages.

Carla Davis is a Habitat Consultant residing on Long Island, New York, where she gives seminars on how to develop Backyard Bird Habitats through bird feeding and native gardening at Garden Centers, Garden Clubs, Nature Centers, Schools, and Audubon Chapters. She has taught portions of the Master Birding Course for Cornell Cooperative Extension, Suffolk County, New York, and her property has been designated as an Official Backyard Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.  She is a contributing writer to Birding Business magazine and The Bird's-Eye reView, the newsletter of the former National Bird-Feeding Society, where she served as a member of the Board of Directors.