A Guide To The Types of Seeds You Can Feed Birds On

When it comes to the variety birds can have in their diets, birds are quite lucky. In the wild they can eat seeds, nuts, grasses, flowers, fruits, insects and more. However, these aren’t naturally as easy to come by as you think and any little help they can get from us is a bonus. The first step to helping the birds is making sure you have a garden full of nature, but after that you can put out seed to attract even more wildlife to your garden.

There’s a huge range of seeds that you can put out for your birds, and each bird that you might see in your garden has their favourites… and you can purchase almost all these seeds online. It’s important to understand what types of seeds exist and their nutritional value for your feathered friends. So what are the most common types of seeds (and feeds) that you should put out in your garden to give the birds a balanced diet?

Common types of bird seeds

These are some of the readily available seeds and nuts that you can feed to your birds:

  • Sunflower: Sunflower seeds come in several different types such as black and striped, however the most common for birds are sunflower hearts, which has been stripped of their shell (which birds don’t eat and is usually left around the garden). Sunflower hearts are high in fat, which is vital during the colder months of the year. Sunflower seeds are particularly loved by goldfinches and tits, but almost all species of birds will feed on them.
  • Niger: these are black needle like seeds with (again) high levels of fat. They are mostly feasted on by birds like Goldfinches and Redpolls. They are highly nutritional and despite only attracting a small number of birds, an important part of your feeders!
  • Peanuts: Peanuts for birds are highly versatile, and a great all-round feeder for your garden birds, particularly during the colder months and breeding season. They offer a huge range of vitamins and attract some different birds such as Jays. Just make sure you try to keep the squirrels off them.
  • Millet: these types of seeds come in different types such as red millet and golden millet. These seeds are rich in oil and protein and should only be used in small amounts alongside other seeds. Because of this, millet is usually put into pre-mixed bird seeds.
  • Corn: as well as being a popular feed for chickens and turkeys, corn is popular for larger garden birds such as doves, crows and pheasants. However, watch out, because the bigger birds love corn be sure to mix it with smaller seeds to attract a range of wildlife.
  • Safflower: this seed is packed full of fat and fibre so a great addition to any bird table. An added bonus of this seed is that it will not attract hungry squirrels like many other seeds do.

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