Bird Seed Menu

Types Of Bird Seed for Attracting a Greater Variety of Wild Birds

Each bird species has food preferences, so providing multiple kinds of foods throughout the year will help attract a greater variety of birds to your bird feeding station on a regular basis.

Black-Oil Sunflower Seed – Considered the #1 choice to feed and attract the greatest variety of birds to your feeders. Rich in oil, black oil sunflower seeds give birds the energy they need to live. The thin shell makes it an easy birdseed to open, even for the smaller birds. Offer this type of food in Hopper or Tube type bird feeder. You’ll attract Cardinals, Nuthatches, finches, and a variety of others

Hulled Sunflower Seed – This type is the same as above except that the shell has been removed. Because it is more expensive, offer it in a squirrel proof type feeder.

The nice thing about offering sunflower hearts and chips is that there is no mess, since all of the bird seed will be eaten. Sometimes black oil sunflower seed left on the ground prevents some plants from growing. If this is a concern in the area you are feeding birds try using hulled seed instead. You’ll attract the same birds without the mess.

Safflower is a favorite seed of the Northern Cardinal. House Finches and Mourning Doves will also feed on this type. The nice thing is that most squirrels will leave it alone and you can place it on a platform/hopper feeder. Cardinals can more easily feed from tray/platform feeders rather than ones with small perches.

Nyjer – Thistle Seed  Nyjer seed, is a specialty food loved by Goldfinches, Purple Finches, Mourning Doves and Pine Siskins. Fortunately, when dropped on the ground, the seeds will not sprout because the seed was sterilized before entering the U.S. A special feeder with small ports will be needed when offering this seed.


Cracked or Whole Kernel Corn – will attract Eastern Bluebirds, Jays, Pheasants, and other game birds. By offering cracked corn throughout the year, you’ll be able to watch birds that normally don’t visit your other feeders It is best to place cracked corn on platform feeders or scattered on the ground for game birds. Be aware that mammals will also be visiting. These include raccoons and opossums along with rodents.


Premium Mixes – These are packages of a mixture of bird seeds that are attractive to a variety of birds. Generally consisting of black oil sunflower, peanut, millet, striped sunflower, and others mixed together. It is probably best to offer each type of seed separately because the more aggressive bird breeds may drive the less aggressive birds away.

Less Expensive Mixes – While they won’t be labeled as such, less expensive mixes rarely attract the most desirable birds. Generally consisting of red and white milo, cracked corn, wheat, striped sunflower and other seeds. Any desirable birds that feed on these types of bird seed will readily come to eat at any of the other types you place in your yard. Most of the less expensive mixes are derivatives of the poultry industry. And as such, are not suited for bird watching enthusiast.


Suet – While not a bird seed, so many birds are attracted to suet that it must be discussed here. Suet is made from beef fat. Most stores that offer seed also offer suet. You’ll find a wide variety of suet types. Suet will be mixed with bird seed, berries, and peanut butter mixed in with the suet. Some of the birds that enjoy suet are: Black Capped Chickadees, Woodpeckers, Nuthatches, and Wrens. Offer suet in a suet feeder, a special wire cage made to hold s




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Hoch’s Landscaping and Garden Center

229 S. Main Street

Barnegat, NJ 08005