Wild birds follow a varied diet that includes natural sources like insects, nectar, fruits and berries. By filling your feeders with bird seed, you can also provide birds with supplemental nutrition. With so many types of seeds it can be tough to decide which to use. Here are four of the most common types of bird seed:
Black oil sunflower seed
Black oil sunflower seed is the most popular and attracts many types of birds to your feeders. Look for cardinals, house finches, mourning dove and tufted titmice. Black oil sunflower seed is reasonably priced and can be find anywhere bird seed is sold. Black oil seeds contain essential vitamins and nutrients and a considerable amount of fat, protein and fiber.
White millet is preferred by ground-feeding birds, making it a good option for scattering on your lawn. You can also pour it into low hanging feeders. It is high in calcium and B vitamins with a reasonable fat, protein and fiber content. White millet is affordable and widely stocked. Some of the birds attracted to white millet are cardinals, doves, sparrows, juncos and towhees.
Safflower seed has a thicker shell than black oil sunflower seat, making it difficult for some birds to open. However, cardinals, doves, sparrows and chickadees enjoy eating it. One benefit of safflower seed is that most squirrels will avoid it. It may take some birds longer to get used to it than others because it is not as familiar.
One of the cheapest bird seeds is also one of the most dismissed. Cracked corn is actually cracked corn kernels. It is a fantastic supplement for backyard birds because of it is high in protein and fiber. It can be stored for a long time without growing stale and will not sprout. One thing to watch for is the amount of dust it can create. Look for house sparrows, red-winged blackbirds, wild turkeys, rock pigeons and northern bobwhites.
It's important to care for your bird feeders by cleaning them regularly. Also clean around the feeding area to prevent contamination.