I have a lot of birds in my yard. With the temperatures getting colder, I really want to keep Feeding Birds In Winter. I increase the feeders I have in my yard to give them plenty to eat.
So what are the Best Birdseed Mixtures to buy? The answer depends on the Types of Birds you have coming to your yard. I live in Oregon and have lots of Woodpeckers, Chickadees, Finches, Nuthatches, Towhees and Juncos in winter, as well as Anna’s Hummingbirds which overwinter here. They all know there is food in my yard.
It is a good idea to Buy seed that is eaten by the Widest Variety of Birds in your area. Alternatively, you can buy seed for specific kinds of birds to avoid waste if you know which specific birds you have. The benefits of using a seed mixture is that you may attract a wider variety of birds. The disadvantage is that some of the seed may not get eaten.
It is best to Avoid buying Cheap Seed Mixes as it often has fillers (like Red or Yellow Millet or Flax, which no one eats and is just left to grow Mold or Other Toxins, Making Birds Sick.). It is a good idea to buy seed from specialty stores that have mixes which birds in your area like. It may be a little more expensive, but you are likely to have less waste which makes it more economical in the long run. We have Wild Birds Unlimited in our area, which I like very much. (No, I don’t get paid for saying this.)
One Good Seed Mixture is one which contains Sunflowers, Safflower, Milo, Nyjer (Thistle), White Millet and Peanuts. These are seeds which are eaten by a wide variety of birds. Many birds also like Suet or pieces of Fruit.
Foods like Sunflowers and Suet are High In Oil, which provides lots of calories for hungry birds in winter. Sunflower is an attractive food for a very wide variety of birds, including Chickadees, Nuthatches, Finches, Sparrows, Woodpeckers, Jays, Grosbeak, Blackbirds, Cardinals and Titmice. Many people even have separate feeders for sunflowers.
Safflower is also eaten by a wide variety of birds, like Nuthatches, Cardinals, Grosbeaks and Titmice.
White millet is eaten by Sparrows, Finches, Blackbirds and Pigeons or Doves.
Milo attracts, Jays, Pigeons or Doves. While Finches love Nyjer (Thistle).
Jays, Sparrows, Blackbirds, Doves and Pigeons like corn. However it should be fed separately and not in a seed mixture due to the risk of corn molding. And it should be changed frequently.
Suet is loved by birds in winter and attracts Woodpeckers, Jays, Chickadees, Nuthatches, Titmice and Bushtits. I get lots of these in my yard in winter….at least four kinds of Woodpeckers, two kinds of Jays, two or three kinds of Chickadees and Bushtits. Bushtits are the cutest, tiny birds that will swarm all over the suet feeders. I usually get a suet mixture with some peanuts and fruit mixed in, which my birds love.
Fruit like oranges or apples are loved by Grosbeak, Woodpeckers, Finches and Cardinals.
It is Very Important to Clean your Bird Feeders frequently in all seasons, but especially in Winter when Rain or Snow can cause Mold to grow in the seed. It is also important to clean up spilled seed for the same reason.
Now lets not forget our Hummingbirds for those who live in mild climates, like the Pacific Northwest.
It is easy to make your own Hummingbird Nectar by boiling a 1 part sugar to 4 parts water for two minutes. Then just let the nectar cool and fill your Hummingbird Feeders.