What Types of Seed Do Wild Birds Prefer?

What Types of Seed Do Wild Birds Prefer?
Feeding birds can be more complicated than it may seem. Different species have different dietary needs and will pursue only the seed types that suit those needs. While it may seem like any animal that eats bugs has no right to be picky, birds can be downright snobby. Picking the right birdseed for specific birds can drastically change the composition of colors and species that gather around your feeder.

Black Sunflower

These seeds are among the most versatile of all bird foods. Small and easily cracked, the seeds have a high fat content that many birds seek. Chickadees, nuthatches, finches, blue jays and cardinals will all come out in number for black sunflower seeds.


Cracked Corn

Attracting a different type of bird, cracked corn is ideal for drawing in large, ground-based birds. Starlings and quail are two species that adore cracked corn. Of course, cracked corn is also suitable for domestic birds, such as chickens and turkeys.


These small, yellow pellets are popular fills in bird seed mixes because of their versatility. Millet will be eaten by a large variety of species, including wrens, sparrows and doves.


Shelled peanuts are good additions to a custom mix. While not a main source of food, a number of bird species are attracted by peanuts. Woodpeckers, crows and mockingbirds are especially fond of peanuts, but smaller species, such as titmice, nuthatches and finches will also pursue peanuts on occasion.


With its thick shell, safflower is particularly well-suited to larger birds and those with tougher beaks. Offer safflower in open trays, so the birds will have room to crack open the tough outer casings. Safflower is popular with doves, sparrows and cardinals.


These small and thin black seeds are so narrow they require special feeders. Imported form Asia, thistles have a specific use as a finch magnet. If you love finches, a thistle feeder will bring them out in great numbers.


Article Written By Louie Doverspike

Based in Seattle, Louie Doverspike has been a professional writer since 2004. His work has appeared in various publications, including "AntiqueWeek" magazine, the "Prague Post" and "Seattle Represent!" Doverspike holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Hamilton College.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.