03 March 2009

Seed Preferences of Birds

The following is a listing of what kinds of seeds are preferred by several species of birds.

  • Sunflowers and peanuts should be the nut meats, not the shells. Sunflower shells kill the plants that are below the feeder.
  • If squirrels are a problem, avoid sunflower seeds, corn and peanuts.
  • Thistle can cause a weed problem so I prefer nyjer which doesn't germinate. They look identical (to me)
  • If germinating seeds is a problem, microwave one batch of seeds to get them real hot, let them cool, then put them out once at a safe temperature. I do about 3 cups of seed on HIGH for 3 minutes.
  • Many mixed birdseeds are full of tiny seeds that the wild birds don't eat at all. It is "filler" and a waste of your money! It ends up on the ground, sprouting weeds.

Blackbirds - sunflower, cracked corn, millet

Buntings - millet, nyjer/thistle, sunflower

Cardinals - sunflower, safflower, cracked corn, millet, peanut

Chickadees - sunflower, suet, nyjer/thistle

Doves - corn, millet, milo, nyjer/thistle, sunflower, safflower

Finches - sunflower, safflower, nyjer/thistle, millet, peanut

Goldfinches - sunflower, millet, nyjer/thistle, broken peanuts (if you want to feed goldfinches only, get an upside down feeder and use nyjer/thistle)

Grossbeaks - millet, sunflower, cracked corn, peanut, safflower

Jays - sunflower, cracked corn, milo, suet, peanuts, safflower

Juncos - everything!

Meadowlarks - cracked corn, millet

Mockingbirds - sunflower, peanut

Nuthatches - sunflower, safflower, suet

Pigeons - cracked corn, millet, milo, nyjer/thistle, sunflower

Sparrows - sunflower, cracked corn, millet

Titmice - sunflower, safflower, suet, nyjer/thistle

Woodpeckers - sunflower, suet, cracked corn

upside down feeder for goldfinches

I put out safflower which attracts the cardinals but keeps the sparrows and squirrels away. I also put out two upsidedown feeders with nyger (not thistle) for the goldfinches.


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