are seeds good for birds

Rapeseed and canary seed

There is nothing special about these two seed varieties over the more common ones. Certain birds, such as quails, doves, finches, and juncos, do consume rapeseed. Should you fail to receive these, the rapeseed will be allowed to deteriorate. House Sparrows and cowbirds, two birds that many people would prefer not to attract, are big fans of canary seed. This is a better option overall because sunflower is equally satisfying to other species that consume canary seed.

are seeds good for birds

Golden millet, red millet, flax, and others

Although packaged bird seed mixes frequently contain these seeds as fillers, the majority of birds avoid them. Waste seed quickly contaminates fresh seed by serving as a haven for bacteria and fungi. Verify the ingredients list of bird seed mixtures and steer clear of ones that contain these seeds. Specifically, ensure that the small, red seeds in a seed mix are milo or sorghum and not red millet if there are a lot of them.

Check Out Project FeederWatch For More Resources Illustration by Justine Lee Hirten.

Never offer corn covered in a red dye. Corn that is meant to be planted is frequently treated with fungicides and labeled with a warning red dye. It is highly toxic to humans, livestock, and all birds.

Never offer buttered popcorn or any kind of microwave popcorn. Popped corn spoils quickly.

On tray feeders, corn should be provided in relatively small amounts at a time. Don’t offer it in tube feeders that could harbor moisture.

Jays, crows, chickadees, titmice, woodpeckers, and many other species love peanuts, but squirrels, bears, raccoons, and other animals that shouldn’t be supported also like peanuts. Similar to corn, peanuts are highly likely to contain aflatoxins, so they need to be kept dry and consumed quickly.

If jays arrive at the feeders before the squirrels, you can offer them as a special treat by placing peanuts in their shells on platform feeders, directly on a deck railing, or in a window feeder. In the event that peanuts or mixes of peanuts and other seeds are provided in tube feeders, be sure to regularly replace the seed, especially in the event of rainy or humid weather, and to thoroughly empty and clean the tube each time.

Milo is a favorite with many Western ground-feeding birds. In tests of seed preferences conducted by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Steller’s Jays, Curve-billed Thrashers, and Gambel’s Quails favored milo over sunflower. In a different study, cowbirds consumed milo while house sparrows did not.

Milo ought to be strewn about on low tray feeders or the ground. Stop offering it if you’re subsidizing cowbirds.


Is it good to feed birds seeds?

It’s not necessary. Bird feeding is most helpful when birds need the most energy, such as during temperature extremes, migration and in late winter or early spring, when natural seed sources are depleted. Most birds don’t need your help in the summer.

Can I give my bird seeds?

Seed should be kept to a minimum and offered only as a treat. – Different types of seeds should be offered. – Use Nutriberries as a treat. They are more nutritionally balanced than seeds.

What seeds are best for birds?

Sunflower seeds are the seeds favored by most seed-eating birds, some 40 species including cardinals, tufted titmice, Carolina chickadees, house and purple finches, American goldfinches, brown-headed nuthatches, and red-bellied woodpeckers, to name a few.