Do you love watching wild birds visit your bird feeder during the winter months? If so, you probably have some favorites. Perhaps you enjoy seeing a bunch of bright red cardinals, playful sparrows, or bossy blue jays. Why not put out the type of seed that makes your feeder a hit with your favorite birds? Today, I have some suggestions on various types of bird seed to keep in your garage so you can keep your feeder filled for your feathered friends this winter.
Wanna see a chickadee? If the answer is “yes,” put safflower seed into your bird feeder this winter. Cardinals, sparrows, titmice, house finches, and mourning doves are also big fans of safflower. One advantage of using this seed is that it’s attractive to a variety of birds. Plus, it’s said to be a deterrent to squirrels, who tend to hang around bird feeders for a quick meal.
Thistle Seed, aka Nyjer Seed
If you’re a fan of American goldfinches, juncos, or mourning doves, thistle seed is a good choice for your bird feeder. It also appeals to indigo buntings. This seed contains a lot of nutrients that can help birds survive the cold weather. One thing to take into account is that while this seed is popular with small birds, it can be expensive. Putting your thistle seed in a sock bird feeder can reduce the amount of seed that ends up on the ground.
Striped Sunflower Seed
If you want to attract cardinals, evening grosbeaks, blue jays, and other large-billed birds, then striped sunflower seed is a good bet for your feeder. Striped sunflower seed is easy to find but can be more expensive than other types, like black-oil sunflower seed.
Red Millet Seed
Red millet seed is inexpensive and found in many mixes of bird seed. Ground feeders like doves, grackles, and robins may eat it, but it’s not one of the most appealing types of seeds, so you may have a mess left over on the ground if you put a mix with red millet seed into your feeder.
Cracked corn attracts blue jays, crows, sparrows, cowbirds, and doves. Cracked corn is too large for some smaller birds to eat, but you can mix it with other types of seed, so you have something for every visitor. Cracked corn is affordable but can be dusty, so you may have to clean out your bird feeder more often.
Cardinals, blue jays, chickadees, magpies, grackles, and starlings are all attracted to a feeder with shelled peanuts. It’s best to use a metal feeder with a mesh design for your shelled peanuts so they are less likely to fall on the ground. One downside to putting out shelled peanuts is that if they become wet from the rain or snow, they quickly start to rot.
So whether you want to attract a certain type of bird to your feeder or you want to feed a crowd, making seed available can help a variety of birds through the winter months. Also, consider putting out a dish of water in a sunny area for the birds. Pecking at frozen snow or ice to get water can really drain their energy. The birds living around your house will thank you! Thanks for reading. – Alan