Feeding birds is a great way to get some nature into your backyard or balcony. Whether you have a deck, patio, or garden, feeding birds can be a fun and easy way to create a thriving ecosystem. But before you purchase birdseed, it is essential to understand the different types of birdseed available and how to choose the right mix for your feathered friends. In this blog post, we will discuss various birdseed types and how to mix them for optimal results, and we will give you tips on choosing the right birdseed for different types of feeders and locations.
Different Types of Seed and Mixtures
When selecting birdseed for your feeders, you need to think about the types of birds you want to attract. Wild birds have different food preferences based on their species, and you need to tailor your birdseed mix to attract the right species. For example, if you want to attract Robins and Blue Jays, you should consider a mix of whole sunflower seeds, peanuts, and corn. To attract chickadees and finches, use smaller seeds like thistle or millet. Here are all of the different types of Scarlett birdseed Braxton’s carries:
Sunflower Seed, Safflower, Split Peanuts, Stripe Sunflower, Sunflower Chips. A great general mix option that favors cardinals, blue jays, and nuthatches.
Black-Oil Sunflower Seeds
Usually in most base mixes, black-oil sunflower seeds attract a wide range of strong beaked breeds such as: Cardinals, chickadees, grosbeaks, house finches, nuthatches, purple finches, sparrows, titmice, and squirrels.
Oil Sunflower Seed, Millet, #2 Split Peanuts, Stripe Sunflower. The Backyard Bounty and Backyard best are two very similar mixes. Bounty adds Millet which helps mix in some different breeds such as: Buntings, quail (feed on the droppings from the feeder), and towhees that might not be interest in just the Backyard Best.
Millet, Oil Sunflower Seed, Safflower Seed, Cracked Corn, Dried Cranberries, Natural Flavors. The dried cranberries to this mix help attract bluebirds, mockingbirds, different breeds of woodpeckers and tanagers (if you live out west).
Millet, Oil Type Sunflower Seed, Wheat, Cracked Corn, Dried Cherries, Natural and/or Artificial Flavors. Classic Blend is one of the most inexpensive choices of seed, great for people just getting into the hobby and establishing a feeder. Once you see the different types of breeds visiting your feeder you can tailor your seed choices accordingly.
Deck/Patio Mix: Sunflower Chips, Split Peanuts, Hulled Millet, Natural and/or Artificial Flavors.
The best option if you have your feeder in a location you do not want any shelled droppings. This blend is also most attractive to squirrels so if you find them to be a problem, try mixing in some cayenne pepper from your spice cabinet. Birds are biologically unable to register the effects of capsaicin—the chemical that makes peppers feel “hot” in your mouth—they don’t feel the burn like we do.
Sunflower Chips, Cayenne Pepper, Soy Oil. If you want to go with sunflower chips and the squirrels are eating you out of house and home try the pepper mix. (Disclaimer: some squirrels eat it regardless of the burn, which is like me when I eat Thai food. It burns so good!)
Now for the little guys! Chickadees, Doves, Finches, Juncos, Sparrows, Siskins, and Titmice LOVE Nyjer Seeds. This seed does take a special type of feeder so make sure you don’t try to fill just any feeder with this seed. Thistle tubes, and sock feeders hold this stuff perfectly and the added bonus to seeing these beautiful small breeds is that squirrels don’t care for Nyjer!
: Nyjer, Sunflower Chips, Canary Seed, German (Finch) Millet, Natural and/or Artificial Flavors
Safflower is one of our top sellers at Braxton’s next to Black Oil Sunflower seeds. I have a lot of conversations with bird enthusiasts who create their own blends with the single ingredient options. They have crafted a recipe that is tailor to their location and breeds. If you don’t want to get that scientific with it the mixes are a great option and safflower is great fed alone.
You will get some big beautiful birds with single-ingredient peanuts, but also some big squirrels. If you have figured out how to keep them off of your feeder with either a Squirrel Buster feeder or Droll, then split peanuts are great for attracting big beautiful cardinals, blue jays, and woodpeckers!
The ultimate attraction! Sunflower chips are loved by a plethora of wild bird breeds and since they are shelled they really leave no mess. Perfect for any feeder in any location. The price can vary based on season, in the fall months are when they get cheaper.
Woodpecker Blend: Split Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Corn, Sunflower Chips, Raisins, Pumpkin Seed, Dried Cranberries, Natural and/or Artificial Flavors
A woodpecker (and squirrels) dream! Pecking trees takes a lot of energy and this mix is crafted to give them the energy boost they need.
Choosing Seed Based on Environment and Feeder
Another thing to consider when choosing your birdseed mix is the environment. Deck feeders are particularly attractive to squirrels and other animals that will try to grab and hoard their fair share. Choosing a mix of birdseed designed to cling to surfaces like safflower or shelled peanuts can help prevent squirrels from consuming large amounts of the seed. Additionally, a mix of sunflower seeds and peanuts with a small amount of the fairly bitter Safflower seeds will deter pigeons and doves.
If you want to cater to a diverse range of birds, a blended seed mix is the way to go. Blends offer a mix of different seeds, which provide a variety of nutritional benefits for birds. Keep in mind that purity levels in seed mixtures can affect the diversity and appeal of birds. Generally, it is best to avoid blends with filler seeds like milo, which birds do not eat.
Bird Seed Price Fluctuations
One of the most significant factors affecting birdseed prices is the price of input ingredients like sunflowers, peanuts, or corn. Prices of these materials can change based on supply and demand, weather patterns, and seasonality. Keep an eye out for seasonal spikes in prices, and stock up when prices are lower. Also, you can save money by buying birdseed in bulk. At Braxton’s, if you buy two large bags of seed you will receive 10% off those items.
Choosing the right birdseed mix for your feeders can make all the difference in attracting the right birds and keeping squirrels and other animals away. Different types of seeds have different nutritional benefits depending on the bird species, and certain mixes can help deter certain types of birds. Always check the seed label, avoid blends with filler seeds, and purchase seeds in bulk for the best price. With the right seed mix, you can provide a healthy and nourishing meal for all of the beautiful wild birds in your backyard.