- 1 Best Bird Seed 2020 [Updated]
- 1.1 Best Bird Seed Products
- 1.1.1 1. Scratch and Peck Feeds Naturally Free Organic Layer
- 1.1.2 2. Brown’s Tropical Carnival Big Bites with ZOO-Vital Biscuits
- 1.1.3 3. Kaytee Exact Hand Feeding Formula
- 1.1.4 4. ZuPreem Fruit Blend Flavor Parrot & Conure Bird Food
- 1.1.5 5. Kaytee Fiesta Variety Mix Macaw Food
- 1.1.6 Best Bird Seed with Chewy Texture
- 1.1.7 6. Higgins Safflower Gold Bird Food for Parrots
- 1.1.8 8. Wagner’s Greatest Variety Wild Bird Food
- 1.1.9 9. Kaytee Basic Blend Wild Bird Food
- 1.1.10 10. Wagner’s Four Season 100% Black Oil Sunflower Seed
- 1.1.11 11. Wagner’s Eastern Regional Blend Deluxe
- 1.1.12 12. Wild Refuge by Kaytee Berry Nutty Harvest
- 1.1.13 13. ZuPreem Fruit Blend Flavor Parrot & Conure Food
- 1.1.14 14. FLYGRUBS Black Soldier Fly Larvae Chicken Feed
- 1.1.15 15. Happy Hen Treats Mealworm Frenzy
- 1.1.16 16. Higgins inTune Harmony Parakeet Bird Food
- 1.1.17 17. Lafeber Premium Daily Diet Canary Bird Food
- 1.1.18 18. Bird Street Bistro Variety Pack
- 1.1.19 19. ZuPreem FruitBlend with Natural Fruit Flavors
- 1.1.20 20. Hari Tropimix Parrot Mix
- 1.1.21 21. Lafeber Premium Daily Diet Macaw & Cockatoo Food
- 1.1.22 22. Lyric Fruit & Nut High Energy Wild Bird Food Mix
- 1.1.23 23. Kaytee Nut & Fruit Blend Wild Bird Food
- 1.1.24 24. Wagner’s Safflower Bird Seed
- 1.1.25 25. Morning Song Black Oil Sunflower Seed
- 1.1.26 Buyers Guide
- 1.1.27 FAQs
- 1.1.28 Types of Bird Seeds
- 1.1.29 Benefits of Bird Seeds
- 1.1.30 Factors to Consider When Buying a Bird Seed
- 1.1.31 Best Bird Seed Brands
- 1.1.32 What birds like what seed?
- 1.1 Best Bird Seed Products
Best Bird Seed 2020 [Updated]
Are you a wildlife enthusiast who’s getting started in bird feeding, but is disappointed by the lack of success in attracting the right birds to your feeders? Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered.
Attracting birds to your backyard is no rocket science. Most of the time, birds are madly searching for food to meet their needs and those of their hatchlings. This means that the first thing you need to do is to feed them the right foods. If these beautiful creatures do not get what they want, they will swiftly move on to your neighbor’s feeders.
The most common popular food choice is bird seed (birdfeed), and there’s a plethora of blends available on the market today. With over 57 million households in the United States alone spending more than $4 billion annually to feed backyard birds, you can sure be spoilt for choice in choosing the right food for the right species.
There are at least 21 different seeds meant for feeding these animals, making it difficult to find the best bargain. Birds have different feeding preferences. It depends on their nutritional needs and the shape of their beaks.
Parrots, for instance, will prefer a bird seed product with nuts, while small birds find sunflowers and millets as such a delight. Other species of birds will prefer safflower, Nyjer, and cracked corn among other types of foods. Each of these seeds has its advantages and disadvantages as will be discussed in the products I’ve reviewed below.
We choose to partner with Chewy for all our birdseed products as they have the best range and options.
That said, here are 25 best bird seeds that will help you gain insightful information about popular brands and what works for your little hobby.
Visit CHEWY HERE or check out our top bird seed reviews below.
Best Bird Seed Products
Top Bird Seed for Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl
Specifically designed for chicken, this bird seed is also suitable for ducks, geese, and all waterfowl. It is USDA organic certified, is safe and free from harmful chemicals, which means that Scratch and Peck Feed is safe for your feathered friends in the backyard.
The feed is made from organic whole grains. It is professionally packaged to offer a perfectly balanced diet for the nutritious benefits of birds.
With a minimum of 16 percent protein, this bird seed is ideal for high egg production. Better yet, it contains calcium, which is required for the formation of strong eggshells, as well as other nutrients, including minerals and vitamins.
- Have an extensive shelf life
- Ideal for chicken, ducks, geese, and all waterfowls
- Balanced protein content
- USDA certified
- GMO-free and certified
- It is pricey
If you can’t find a product that meets the needs of the ducks and waterfowl in your property, I recommend Scratch and Peck Feeds Naturally Free Organic Layer. It will surely satisfy you and the dietary needs of your feathered flock.
Best Bird Seed for Macaws
This bird seed contains a large proportion of unshelled nuts, including almonds, walnuts, pecans, and filberts – all nutrient-dense foods with lots of fats, vitamins, and minerals. It contains 14.5 percent protein, 10.5 percent fat, and 11.5 percent fiber, thanks to the beautiful mix of seeds such as sunflower seed, wheat, oats, corn, peas, among others. Better yet, this gourmet contains dates, apricots, papaya, pineapple, banana, and kiwi.
The Zoo-Vital biscuits provide the essential fatty acids that keep the bird’s feathers healthy while protecting their skin from drying out.
- Has a variety of ingredients
- Good quantity
- Fosters a foraging behavior
- Supplemented with essential fatty acids
- Birds may only pick the seeds they like
- Contains some artificial colors
We recommend Brown’s Tropical Carnival Big Bites with Zoo-Vital Biscuits for individuals whose feathered friends include parakeets, cockatoos, and macaws. It is loaded with lots of nutrients and is bursting with fruits for all nutritional needs.
Best Foods for Baby Birds
Baby birds need a different kind of bird seed diet than adults, and if your backyard has rescued little ones, Kaytee Exact Hand Feeding Formula is your go-to feeding option. It is high in nutrients and fats helping the little flock develop healthy bones, muscles, and feathers.
The formula contains over 6 essential vitamins, including vitamins A, E, B12, and more; probiotics, and prebiotics to promote a healthy gut. The high-nutrient formula also helps the birds grow and develop faster, wean earlier, and have beautiful feathers.
As a hand-feeding product, this bird seed formula gives you plenty of time to bond with your baby birds. Nonetheless, you should follow the feeding instructions and use the correct feeding implement.
- Contains all the essential nutrients required by hatchlings
- Encourages healthy and vibrant growth
- Promotes social activity
- More suitable for grain birds
- The smell is strong
Kaytee Exact Hand Feeding Formula is ideal for anyone looking to help hatchlings grow and develop well while promoting social activity. It is also easy on the digestive system, which is why I recommend it as a first choice.
Best Dietary Pellets for Birds
If you are looking to attract small cockatoos, caiques, conures, Eclectus, and other medium or large parrots with specific preferences, the best dietary plan that will pique their interest would be the ZuPreem FruitBlend Flavor Parrot & Conure Bird Food.
This product boasts a balanced formula with low-fat ideal for birds that are struggling to switch to a pellet diet. These pellets are also suitable for birds that are picky in their diet.
It is available in natural fruit colors, shapes, and flavors, has a crunchy feel, and is fortified with essential vitamins and mineral for healthy growth and development.
- All-natural ingredients
- Feature different shapes for birds to hang unto
- Can be served dry or wet
- Not suited to young birds
All things considered, I can assure you that ZuPreem FruitBlend Flavor Parrot & Conure Bird Food will attract birds to your feeder, particularly parrots. If you are unsure of what to get for these birds, this product will satisfy you.
Best Bird Seed with Chewy Texture
The Kaytee Fiesta Bird Food for macaws comes with a variety of nutrient-rich components, including fruits, vegetables, seed, and grains. Available in different shapes, colors, and texture, this product offers a diet variety for your birds and other beaked pets.
With a minimum of 14 percent crude protein and fat, 0.4 percent omega-3 fatty acids, and a maximum of 18 percent crude fiber and 12 percent moisture, the Kaytee Fiesta Variety Mix Macaw Food is nutritionally complete.
Thanks to the seed mix ingredients and the included prebiotics and probiotics, the food is highly palatable and ideal for healthy guts and beautiful plumage.
- Highly palatable with a crunchy texture
- Consists of a variety of nutrients, promoting heart, brain, eye function, and proper digestion
- Contains antioxidants
- Contains artificial colorings
We highly recommend Kaytee Fiesta Variety Mix Macaw Food for its chewy texture and healthy mixture. It prevents birds from getting bored with having the same diet for weeks.
Best Safflower Bird Seed for Parrots
The Higgins Safflower Gold Bird Food for Parrots is DHA (docosahexaenoic) enriched with omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics for easy digestion, ensuring that your winged backyard animals lead a quality and healthy diet.
With the appropriate crude protein and fat recommendation, this gourmet seed offers more than just a variety of diet for the flock. Apart from containing safflower seeds, this formula also contains a blend of vegetables, seeds, grains, and legumes, all contributing to a full dose of wholesome nutrition with minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
- Contains all the necessary nutrients
- No preservatives or food colorants
- Improved with omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics
- Not ideal for small birds
Higgins Safflower Gold Bird Food for Parrots offers a beautiful blend of tropical ingredients, offering your parrots a taste of wild fruits and seeds. Definitely worth buying.
Best Sunflower Bird Seed for Robins
Lyric Sunflower Kernels Bird Food contains nothing but sunflower seeds that can be served individually or with other bird food. They are a perfect choice for attracting a plethora of species, including cardinals, finches, buntings, chickadees, grosbeaks, flickers, and woodpeckers among others.
Full of proteins and fats, this bird seed is edible and is already shelled to avoid the mess usually caused by the shells dropping to the ground.
- Shelled to avoid a mess
- Little wasted feed
- Attracts a wide variety of birds
- Attracts squirrels
- Spoils if it gets wet
If you need to attract a wide variety of birds to your backyard or garden, the Lyric Sunflower Kernels should be your beginner product. I love the fact that they are already shelled; it negates the need for frequent mess cleanup.
Best for All Songbirds
It offers a perfect blend of premium quality grains with a gourmet mix of up to 11 types of ingredients. With 40 percent of the ingredients being sunflower seeds, this product offers a flitting feast for jays, titmice, Chickadees, woodpeckers, sparrows, cardinals, and finches.
Coming from a reputable brand, this product incorporates just the precise amounts of myriads of bird food that aids in seducing more birds for a feast.
- Highly popular
- Attracts a wide variety of birds
- Made of 40 percent sunflower seeds
- Contains peanuts, which may cause allergic reactions
Wagner’s Greatest Variety Wild Bird Food works like a charm if you wish to wake up to a sight of beautiful chirping birds in your landscape. I highly recommend them for their versatility and effectiveness.
Great for Year-Round Feeding
Kaytee Basic Blend Wild Bird Food is a classic blend of various ingredients including black oil, striped sunflower seeds, grains, and corn. It has been supplemented with vitamins A, D3, and Calcium Carbonate to help birds cope with cold weather.
Compatible with many types of feeders, this bird seed formula guarantees the attraction of birds such as blue jays, chickadees, cardinals, and more. The pack includes palatable pieces that both small and large birds find easier to eat.
- Ideal for everyday feeding
- Suitable for a wide variety of birds
- Great value for money
- Birds may only pick what they like
A great choice as a year-round product that attracts flock of migrating birds. Recommended it as a preferable choice if you are unsure of what to go for.
Best Sunflower Bird Seed
With pure shelled black oil sunflower seed, this product is high in energy content required by birds to sustain a healthy lifestyle. It is ideal for many songbirds, including finches, chickadee, and cardinals.
The nutritional profile includes a minimum of 15 percent crude protein, 24 percent crude fat, and a maximum of 35 percent crude fiber and 15 percent moisture.
- Attracts a wide range of songbirds
- 100 percent Black Oil Sunflower
- High energy content
- Shelled for easy consumption
- Short shelf life
Overall, we love this product because it contains quality ingredients that are a delight to songbirds and other small species. It is also cost-friendly, which makes feeding birds less of a financial burden.
Best for Perching and Ground-Feeding Birds
This product speaks to the needs of the Eastern birds, which are mainly cardinals, finches, chickadee, and blue jays. This isn’t to mean that if you are in other US states you shouldn’t try it. The blend works well for these species anywhere.
The formula comes with black oil and striped sunflower seeds as well as safflower seed, all in three flavors. It comprises 25 percent sunflower and safflower components, guaranteeing different types of local bird attraction as well.
- Very effective in attracting Eastern US birds
- High sunflower and safflower content
- Specific to certain birds and not parrots.
- Not the best for picky eaters
In a nutshell, I highly recommend Wagner’s Eastern Regional Blend Deluxe because it comes with a balanced blend for backyard birding. It is also among the top-rated birdseed varieties on the market today.
Best Blended Bird Seed
Wild Refuge by Kaytee Berry Nutty Harvest is a culmination of premium quality ingredients formulated to remain irresistible to different types of birds. It has been designed to attract up to 30 percent more species.
The formula contains a full dose of protein, fat, and fiber, thanks to the crunchy nuts, palatable seeds, and organic fruits. Being crunchy and 100 percent consumable, there is no mess created after feeding the birds. Therefore, you won’t have to keep cleaning up after the birds.
- Formulated to attract lots of wild birds
- Made from premium ingredients with no cheap fillers
- Quite tasty
- Nutritionally complete
- Attracts squirrels and possums
With the only requirement being laying out the seeds in feeders, you can feel confident with Wild Refuge by Kaytee Berry Nutty Harvest anytime you need to lure birds into the backyard. Many birds, including ducks and songbirds, love it for the crunchy taste and nutritious value.
Best Bird Seed for Parrots
Highly recommended by vets and nutritionists, ZuPreem FruitBlend Flavor Parrot & Conure Food is ideal for those looking for a nutritious, balanced, and flavored bird seed. Weighing in at 3.5lbs, this product is enough for a small flock of African greys, amazons, caiques, conures, Eclectus, Sénégal, and small cockatoos.
Its pellets have low fat of a minimum of 4 percent, and it comes with ingredients such as ground corn, wheat, bananas, apples, and more. It is fortified with vitamins, 21 minerals, and amino acids to offer an elegant delight to birds. The pack is available in 5 vibrant flavors.
- Recommended by vets and nutritionists
- Has a healthy combination of flavors and shape for a variety
- Fortified with minerals and amino acids for healthy growth
- Not ideal for small birds
- Picky birds only eat what they like
ZuPreem have done a great job with FruitBlend Flavor Parrot & Conure Food. A good purchase decision if you’re looking for a mouth-watering delight for parrots. The product is full of minerals and intuitive shapes that mimic the fruits parrots love to crack.
Best Bird Seed for Poultry
FLYGRUBS Black Soldier Fly Larvae was specifically formulated for chicken. It is a suitable treat for poultry if you are looking to boost their immune system. It contains lots of calcium, 85 times more than dried mealworm with proteins standing in between 36 percent and 42 percent.
The package also contains sufficient healthy fats, lysine, fiber, and phosphorus, which promote natural feeding habits. Although the formula was meant for chicken, once scattered on the ground, other birds such as ducks and waterfowl can have a go at it.
- Maintains freshness for long
- Easy to handle full-size grubs
- Contains lauric acid for fighting bacteria
- Birds might not swiftly adjust to the formula
- May require other supplements for a wholesome diet
If you are hunting for a bird seed that is a step away from grains, we would suggest giving this one a try. It is a great choice to supplement with other products.
Best Runner-up for Ground Birds
The 100 percent dried whole mealworms are rich in proteins to give your birds a strong physique. It comes with enough fats, fiber, lysine, calcium, and phosphorous among other nutrients that birds need for healthy development. It contains no additives, is easy to store, and is a great choice for anyone looking to train and tame birds.
- Made of 100 percent dried mealworms
- Contains no additives
- Easy to store
- Birds may easily get bored with the diet
After dried larvae, Happy Hen Treats Mealworm Frenzy is another great choice for ground birds such as ducks, chicken, waterfowls, and turkey. However, we strongly recommend that you supplement this diet with a blend of other feeds for variety and a wholesome package.
Best Bird Seed for Parakeets
Higgins inTune Harmony Parakeet Food is a quality food blend that should give your caged birds a happy treat. It is suitable for daily use due to its complete nutritious content, including fruits such as pineapple, coconut, papaya as well as cashews, and spinach flakes.
The formula has been enriched with significant amounts of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. It is also rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, antioxidants in DHA form, and probiotics for healthy digestion.
Higgins inTune Harmony Parakeet Food contains no artificial additives. The bits are small and easy to swallow, and it provides the right amount of nutrients for the healthy bird growth.
- Nutritionally balanced to keep birds within a healthy weight range
- Enriched with fatty acids and probiotics
- No artificial additives
- Small pellets for easy swallowing
- May be wasted as some birds will pick only the pellets they like
We can safely say that Higgins inTune Harmony Parakeet Food is one of the best for fulfilling Parakeet’s dietary requirements. It is not hard to miss all the benefits it provides.
Best for Canaries
With natural ingredients such as soy meal and ground corn, essential vitamins, mineral, and omega-3 fatty acids, and its pelleted nature, Lafeber Premium Daily Diet Canary Bird Food is enough to keep your friends flitting all day long.
The formula has also been enriched with whole eggs as a digestible protein form, making this bird food a tasty treat for strong bones, beautiful plumage, and enhanced immune system. It can be fed to the flock as a whole meal or as a tasty treat. It contains no artificial additives, is naturally preserved, and is flavored to attract as many birds as possible.
- Premium pelleted formula for canaries
- Rich in essential nutrients for healthy bones, muscles, and vibrant feathers
- Produced and stored naturally
- Fairly expensive
All things considered, we can attest that Lafeber Premium Daily Diet Canary Bird Food is a nice treat to keep birds in your property singing all day long. The formula contains all the dietary needs for canaries as well as finches and more.
Best All-Natural Macaw Food
Birds need a variety of diets to maintain a healthy physique, and that is what Bird Street Bistro Variety Pack is all about. It is designed to give macaws, African greys, cockatoos, cockatiels, Amazon, conures, and parakeets the nutritional boost they so need for long and healthy lives.
It is made from pure natural ingredients crafted with whole grains, fruits, veggies, and healthy spices with no artificial additives. Available in different flavors, which cooks in under 3 minutes. It is enriched with human-grade ingredients to keep your beaked friends happy all day long.
- 100 percent natural ingredients
- No added fillers, salt, sugar, colors, or any other additives
- Made in the USA
- Needs to be cooked first
After testing Bird Street Bistro Variety Pack we can safely say it’s a delightful product. It is very convenient for those who have little time to spare before feeding their beaked buddies.
Best Bird Seed for Large Birds
ZuPreem FruitBlend with Natural Fruit Flavors is a tasty and healthy addition to your bird food, offering the best of both worlds. The pellets are packed with all the essential dietary components birds need to grow and develop healthily.
This bird seed contains favorite fruits such as bananas, oranges, grapes, and apples – all of which contribute to the fruity tropical aromas and flavors the pack carries. Consequently, the pellets carry ground corn, soybean meal, ground wheat, and wheat germ as well as all the essential nutrients and meal Amazons macaws, cockatoos, and other large parrots need for an everyday diet.
- Rich in nutritional content
- Highly palatable
- Tropical taste and fruity flavors
- Varied texture and shapes for different birds
- Sugar content is relatively high
Wrapping it up, I can confirm that ZuPreem FruitBlend with Natural Fruit Flavors is an ideal product to give to your wild parrots. It is incredibly nutritious and easy to dispense for large birds. If you are looking for the perfect blend of food to entice birds such as parrots, this one is a good match.
Best for Cockatiels and Small Parrots
If your property has a variety of small parrots, then the Hari Tropimix Parrot Mix is a recommended bird seed to keep them lingering. With Tropical granules and peanut-flavored sticks, the birds will be well on their way to developing beautiful feathers, strong muscles, and bones.
The package contains nuts, hulled exotic grains, fruits, and legumes, formulated with different textures and flavors to help the birds indulge in wild-like foraging activity.
The essential nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids all contribute to the well-being of the flock.
- Shelled to reduce waste
- 100 percent palatable
- No artificial additives
- May take a while for the birds to adjust to the diet
If you love feeding parrots, then this is the product you should have. It contains all the ingredients birds would get from wild feeding, and it encourages a foraging behavior, giving them a sense of home.
Best for Foraging
Lafeber Premium Daily Diet Macaw & Cockatoo Bird Food is a premium product that consists of a diet of high-fat seeds, nuts, local fruits, flowers, and other plant matter, insects, and worms. It is packed with 14.5 percent proteins, five percent fat, three percent fiber, and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids as well as 10.5 percent moisture content for friendly consumption.
The essential minerals, vitamins, and proteins take the guesswork out of giving your birds a balanced nutritional profile. To top it all, the bits are pelleted to encourage a foraging habit.
- Enriched with ground non-GMO corn, oat groats, whole eggs, and soybean meals for everything birds need to thrive
- Formulated to encourage foraging behavior
- Made in the USA using all-natural ingredients
- Can be served as a complete diet
- Picky birds may choose pellets that appeal to them
Lafeber Premium Daily Diet Macaw & Cockatoo Food is among the best bird seed brand on the market today. It is packed with a substantial amount of useful nutrients to keep birds healthy and strong.
Best for Chickadees
Lyric Fruit & Nut High Energy Wild Bird Food Mix contains shelled peanuts, dried cherries, almonds, pistachios, raisins, and pecans. It contains zero fillers, but high-quality fruits to attract birds such as robins, orioles, blue jays, titmice, cardinals, and more.
The premium blend of ingredients gives birds the high energy and strength they require to flock around. While it contains all-natural ingredients, it carries 15 percent protein content, 30 percent fat, 10 percent fiber, and 12 percent moisture. This content makes the formula ideal for everyday feeding.
- All-natural ingredients
- Easy to spot pellets
- Best for everyday feeding
- May be wasted by picky birds
- Not suitable for large birds
If you need a high-energy gourmet blend of seeds and fruits for your beaked friends, I suggest you look no further than Lyric Fruit & Nut High Energy Wild Bird Food Mix. It is a good product for small birds, but not ideal for pets.
Best Bird Seed for Woodpeckers
Developed with a seed mix of grains, nuts, and fruits, this bird food offers a decent formula for a wide range of birds. With this beneficial blend of nutrients, the Kaytee Nut & Fruit Blend Wild Bird Food makes it an ideal choice for year-round feeding.
The seed mixture helps attract chickadees, woodpeckers, cardinals, as well as myriads of other songbirds. The bits are small and highly edible, making it easy for the birds to consume them. It contains 18 percent proteins and 30 percent fat.
- Various choice sizes
- Offers a blend of seed and fruits nutrients needed by birds
- Can be used all-year-round
- Contains artificial flavors
- Attracts squirrels
Kaytee Nut & Fruit Blend Wild Bird Food is an all-round bird feed you need throughout the year. It contains high-fat content and enough proteins to help the birds cope with cold.
Best Bird Seed for Cardinals
If you desire to attract lots of cardinals in your garden, then Wagner’s Safflower Bird Seed is the product for you. Boasting a pack of pure safflower seeds, a favorite among the songbirds as well, this product will surely give them all the nutrients they need from bird food.
Although it can be blended with other types of bird food, this diet can still be served as a whole.
- Made of pure safflower
- Free from attracting squirrels and raccoons
- Low shelf life if it gets wet
All in all, Wagner’s Safflower Seed product is an awesome addition to your bird food. I love the fact that it doesn’t attract other animals like squirrels. Less mess to deal with.
Best for Wild Birds
If you are just getting started on feeding birds, I suggest you go for Morning Song Black Oil Sunflower Seed should you be spoilt for choice. It lures the widest variety of birds and has been particularly formulated to keep them busy throughout the day.
The best part about these seeds is how easy you can dispense them. They do not stick together and are highly nutritious. I love the single blend of black oil sunflower seeds it carries and the high fat and protein content that is supplemented with vitamins B and E, calcium, and potassium.
- Highly effective in attracting a wide range of birds
- Very nutritious
- Easy to dispense
- Contains some unnecessary debris
In a nutshell, Morning Song Black Oil Sunflower Seed is a great product for wild birds. It is highly convenient, nutritious, and easy to dispense. That is why it makes a great starter choice for bird feeding enthusiasts.
Here are the common bird seed terms you need to understand before investing in feeding your feathered friends:
- Feeder – Implements placed outdoors to supply bird food to the flock.
- Ground feeding birds – these are birds that feed from the ground, and not from feeders
- Non-GMO – a product produced without genetic modification.
- Non-GMO Project – an organization focusing on building and protecting non-GMO food distribution.
- Plumage – refers to a layer of feathers covering birds and the color, pattern, and the arrangement of those feathers
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) – a form of omega-3 fatty acid that is essential for brain development
- Lauric acid – a saturated fat commonly found in vegetable fats, especially coconuts and palm kernel oils
- Suet cake – fat balls served to birds as supplements. They’re made of sunflower seeds, wheat, and or oat flakes mixed with suet
What is a Bird Feed?
Bird feed refers to a mixture of seeds, mainly sunflower, safflower, Nyjer, and millet used for feeding birds.
Types of Bird Seeds
- Sunflower seeds – They are the most common types preferred by many backyard birds. They are available in black-oil sunflower seeds, which are small with thin shells and high in fat content, and striped sunflower seeds with hard thick shells ideal for large-billed birds like cardinals. There are also hulled sunflower kernels, which makes a great choice for small birds.
- Nyjer – Often referred to as thistle seeds, they are small, light, and impressively high in oil, rendering them more appropriate for winter feeding.
- Millet – They are characterized by a hard coat and are ideal for many ground-feeding birds such as buntings, doves, wild turkeys, sparrows, quail, and juncos.
- Canary seed – Small seeds used particularly for pets. Only a few ground-feeding birds have a preference for it.
- Milo – It is also called sorghum and is mainly used as a filler in other food for birds.
Peanuts – Birds love peanuts for the healthy and significant amounts of fat and proteins they offer. They, however, attract squirrels and raccoons.
- Cracked Corn – Often used as fillers in seed blends. Has a high content of carbohydrates, suitable for many species of birds, particularly the ground feeding types.
- Safflower seeds – These are meant for birds with strong bills due to their hard and thick shells. Cardinals, jays, and woodpeckers are a few examples that would feed on safflower.
Benefits of Bird Seeds
Bird seeds provide birds with nutrients to help them develop strong muscles, beautiful plumage, and develop healthy skin. The seeds foster a sense of cheer while giving the flocks a natural balanced diet that boosts their immune system, helping them ward off diseases and infections.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Bird Seed
Purchasing a bird seed is a worthy investment. Without leaving everything to chance, it is crucial to choose a product that works best for the type of birds in your compound. Here are the top things to consider:
- Quality – Many birds love sunflower seeds and millet. It, therefore, comes as a recommendation that when you are choosing bird food, ensure that it contains a large proportion of such seeds, including safflower and Nyjer. Also, I recommend choosing products with little to no fillers and those with seeds that have thin shells for easy consumption and less mess.
- Content – Bird food comes with various ingredients. As you shop for these products, check the ingredient list to ensure there are no harmful substances such as pesticides or aflatoxins.
- Types of Birds – Birds are not universal in their feeding habits. Parrots, for instance, love nuts, and if you buy them for songbirds, the food will be wasted. Buy the right food for the right bird.
- Reputation – There are hundreds of brands of bird food on the market today. This makes the purchase decision such a daunting task. Nevertheless, go with a product that is trusted by many customers; one from a reputable manufacturer such as the ones I’ve discussed above.
- Date – Ensure that you check the label for the manufacture date to avoid buying stale or expired bird food. Check to see if the feed is fresh, has no mildew or mold, and doesn’t contain any odor.
- Quantity – Depending on the number of feeders you have in your compound; you certainly need large quantities to keep them filled.
Best Bird Seed Brands
Established in 1894, Wagner is a market leader and the oldest privately-owned company in the US dealing in the production and distribution of premium wild bird food products.
It was built by a father-son team of veterinarians in the 1970s. The company has grown to become one of the top bird seed pellet-producer in the industry. It has a variety of products for different types of birds across the globe.
Kaytee is a global supplier of premium bird seed and hay as well as life-staged foods for other animals. They are dedicated to environmental conservation and raising awareness of pet care.
It is a brand of premium animal feeds, particularly zoo animals and exotic pets dating back to the year 1928. It produces a wide variety of parrot and other animal foods distributed across the globe.
What birds like what seed?
- Blue Jays – Sunflower and safflower seeds, corn, peanuts, seed mixes, suet
- Finches – Nyjer, sunflower seed, peanut, fruits, millets, safflower, suet
- Wrens – Suet, peanut, apples
- Bunting – a variety of seeds, including sunflower, peanuts, safflower
- House sparrow – seed mixes, sunflower seeds
- Pine Grosbeak – Mostly grains and sunflower seeds
- Siskins – nuts, Nyjer, oats, sunflower and safflower seeds, suet, millet
- Red Crossbills – Sunflower, Nyjer seeds
- Red Poll – Suet and sunflower seeds
- Thrushes – fruits including apples, berries, and grapes, nuts, suet, and seed blends
- American Goldfinch – Nyjer, Sunflower seeds
- Quail – sunflower and seed mixes
- Cardinals – Corn, sunflower, safflower, and millet seeds, peanuts, nuts
- Woodpeckers – sunflower, corn, peanuts, suet, sunflower seeds
- Magpies – Suet, peanuts, scraps
- Titmouse – Safflower, sunflower seeds, suet, peanuts, peanut kernel
- Chickadees – sunflower seeds, safflower, suet, peanut kernel
- Mockingbirds – fruits, suet, sunflower seeds, nuts
- Juncos – Sunflower, corn, millet, peanuts, nutmeats, Nyjer, suet
- Sparrows – canary seed, millet, peanut kernels, suet, sunflower seed
Feeding birds is a great hobby, but it has its challenges. With hundreds of bird feeds sold on the market today, choosing the right one for the right species of birds in your garden or backyard may not be an easy task. However, the most important thing to remember is to choose what works. If unsure, you can start with the most versatile products, which include seed mixes for a variety of birds.
The products we have reviewed above and the buyer’s guide should give you insightful information on which one to go with. If you need to keep those feathered friends around for long, ensure that you have one of those products ready for them.