What are the different seeds to attract the birds? by BirdFeederist

There are different types of seeds that are usually used in the bird feeders to attract the maximum number of birds in the garden. These types include different seeds like sunflower, safflower, Nyjer, shelled corn, cracked corn, peanuts, etc. These seeds are perfect to attract a variety of birds to the garden.

But when we talk about the favorite seeds of the birds, it contains the sunflower and safflower seeds. These seeds are mostly used seeds by the birders to attract the birds in their garden. Usually, all the listed seeds are used in the bird feeders.

Seeds to attract the birds
Seeds to attract the birds

Different bird seeds      

There are different bird seeds that can be used to attract the birds depending upon the birds—for example, the cardinals like the sunflower and safflower seeds most as compared to others. Similarly, Blue Jays like peanuts. Let’s see the different seeds to attract a large variety of birds in the garden.

1. Sunflower

Sunflower seeds 1

Sunflower seeds are the universal type of seeds to attract birds. A large variety of birds are like these seeds. The sunflower seeds have two types, Black oil sunflower seeds and striped. The Black oil sunflower seeds have a thin shell as compared to striped. Black oil sunflowers are usually good to attract all the seed-eating birds due to their smooth opening shell. While the striped sunflower seed’s shell is thicker and it’s hard to open for sparrows and other smaller birds. Sometimes people also use the unshelled sunflower seeds to help the birds. But people also need to make sure that the unshelled sunflower seeds can spoil quickly as compared to shelled seeds.

2. Safflower

safflower seeds 2

Safflowers are the second most loving and attractive seeds for the birds. Sometimes it’s a little bit hard for the birds to open them due to their hard shell. But it’s very favorite of the cardinals and many other bird-like chickadees, doves, and native sparrows. The most important thing about these seeds is that they are not liked by the house sparrows, squirrels, and many other unwanted audiences. So these are the best seeds to feed the birds without attracting unwanted audiences. Tray and hopper feeders can be the best choice to feed these seeds to the cardinals.

3. Nyjer

nyjer seeds 3

Many small birds like to eat needle-like Nyjer seeds. These birds include the finches, Indigo Buntings, Pine Siskins, Common Redpolls, etc. Some people also use the heat-sterilized Nyjer seeds to attract the birds, because the heat-sterilized Nyjer seeds can retain their food values for a longer time. These seeds are obtained from a shifted plant known as Guizotia abyssinica.

4. White Proso Millet

white proso millet seeds 4

White millet is usually liked by many ground-feeding birds. But you can also use it for many other birds as well. You can use the white millet for attracting the quails, native sparrows, doves, towhees, juncos, and cardinals. The bad thing about the white millet is that it also attracts many other unwanted audiences as well. For example, it’s also liked by cowbirds, blackbirds, and house sparrows. So when you use the white millet, make sure to protect your feeder from the unwanted audience.

5. Corn

corn seeds 6

Corn is also another favorite food for many birds. You can use the shelled or cracked corn to attract the birds. You can use the corn to attract the pheasants, turkeys, quails, cardinals, grosbeaks, crows, ravens, jays, dives, ducks, cranes, and many other species as well. So you can attract the maximum number of birds by using corn. But you need to make sure that it can be attractive for house sparrows, cowbirds, starlings, geese, bears, raccoons, and deer as well.

6. Peanuts

peanut 5

Peanut seeds or a whole peanut are also very attractive to many birds. The peanuts are most popular among the jays, chickadees, titmice, woodpeckers, and many other species as well. You can set the peanuts on platform feeders or deck railing feeders, or window feeders to attract the birds. But make sure to check the peanuts seeds regularly when you use them with other seeds, mainly when you use them in tube feeders. Moreover, the peanuts can also be attractive to squirrels, bears, raccoons, and different unwanted audiences.

7. Milo

milo seeds 7

This is another favorite food of the ground-feeding birds, especially for the western ground-feeding birds. Some studies also say that the Steller’s jay’s, Curve-billed, thrashers, quails prefer the milo over the sunflower seeds. Moreover, these seeds are also not liked by the house sparrows. But make sure to protect these seeds from cowbirds.

What type of seeds should not be used in seed mixtures?

People usually use different types of seeds in a seed mixture to attract birds. But people need to know that any kind of seeds is often not liked by the birds. These types of seeds are usually found outside the feeders, which can be responsible for attracting an unwanted audience. So we need to prevent these types of seeds. Let’s see some of these types of seeds.

1. Golden and red millet

Many people use the golden and red millet in the mixture of the other seeds. But these seeds are usually found outside the feeder and spread in the whole garden. So these can be attractive to many different unwanted audiences. So make sure to read out about the bird mixture first before making any seed mixture for the birds.

2. Rapeseed

These seeds are usually used in making a blend with other seeds. But only a few birds like these seeds. These birds include quails, dives, and finches. So if these birds are not visiting your feeder, these seeds will be left behind in the feeder for spoiling. This will not be good for your feeder and birds as well. So try to use these seeds according to the bird’s species in your garden.


From all the above discussion, we can conclude that there are different types of seeds that are usually used. But the most used seeds for the birds are sunflower and safflower seeds.  But whichever seeds you are going to use, make sure they are according to your target bird species and environment.

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