Watching birds can be one of the most relaxing things in the world. But, the type of bird seed you use can mean a lot when it comes to what birds will come to visit you. Knowing what the best bird seed brands are and what to look for could significantly improve your bird watching experience.
Did you know that different birds prefer different kinds of seeds? The types of seeds you provide attract different kinds of birds, and if you want a specific kind of bird to show up, you have to use the right seed.
What's In The Best Bird Seed?
There are many different types of bird seed out there that you can buy. Many bags that you find in the store will be a blend of a bunch of the kinds of seed that are meant to bring in any bird. However, there are also some that have one specific type of grain, intended for a selective species of bird.
It's essential to know the difference between the birds and what they like to eat, especially if you are looking for one bird in particular. Also, there are some parts of the lower-quality bird seed blends that you want to avoid. Not every seed is good for the birds, and low-quality stuff can be nasty for them.
Some bird food also has unique properties which are really useful to the birds. You may see phrases like "High Energy," which means it's like a power food for birds. This stuff is an absolute treat for these guys, and they'll eat it right up.
Other seeds can be immune boosters for birds. Yup, our avian friends need help with their immune systems just like us humans do, now and then. Knowing what foods and seeds are good for which occasion will go a long way in showing the birds you are here to help.
This is probably the cornerstone to all of the best bird seed mixes. There are probably a dozen types of birds that love sunflower seeds, which is great because they're not hard to find and relatively inexpensive as well. However, not all sunflower seeds are made equal.
Believe it or not, there are a few different variations of sunflower seeds you can choose from. Each has its select benefits and uses.
The most common type of sunflower seed that is given to birds. It is also commonly found in most of the best bird seed blends you will find. This seed was initially developed to harvest for its oil content, rather than for bird seed.
These contain 40 percent fat, 16 percent protein, and 20 percent carbs, making them a very nutritious choice for birdies. The seeds differ from the striped sunflowers in their thinner shells and smaller overall size. Because of that, they are also much easier to crack, so most birds can open them.
Speaking of birds, most birds you will find out in the wild love these seeds. They include cardinals, jays, woodpeckers, nuthatches, titmice, chickadees, grosbeaks, finches, nutcrackers, juncos, House Sparrows, blackbirds, doves, and grackles. In all honesty, the list of birds who don't like them would be much easier to convey.
Striped sunflowers, the stereotypical snack of the baseball players, are eaten by some birds but are more enjoyed by humans. That's most likely because the seeds are much larger and the shells are harder to crack open. However, there are a select few birds who will go through the effort and enjoy the meal.
The birds that can handle the hardened shell of the striped sunflower are cardinals, titmice, nuthatches, and a few others. If you have a feeder that only has these seeds, you will find that only the birds who can open the shells will come. They may have a more peaceful meal also, not fighting with all the starlings or finches.
Want to disappoint those pesky squirrels and blackbirds? This is the seed you've been looking for. Safflower, while being incredibly nutritious for birds, is only popular among some because of the somewhat hard shell. While most birds will have no issue with the shells, others like blackbirds, grackles, and starlings can't seem to figure them out.
With a nutrition content of 38 percent fat, 16 percent protein, and 34 percent carbs, several backyard birds love the stuff. These include cardinals, grosbeaks, finches both House and Purple, titmice, chickadees, nuthatches, and doves.
Commonly called "thistle," Nyjer is a tiny, black seed that grows in Ethiopia or India. No, it's in no way related to the thistle weed, so don't worry about these growing in your backyard.
Because of the small size of the seed, Goldfinches enjoy these immensely. Actually, with 36 percent fat, 21 percent protein, and 13 percent carbs, many birds find these quite appetizing. This includes Purple Finch, House Finch, Pine Siskin, chickadees, and doves.
White Proso Millet
Have a lot of ground feeding birds hanging around your backyard? Then they are going to love proso millet. While typically not sold individually, you will find it in a lot of the best bird seed blends.
There are also a few different types of millet available, but white is by far the most favored by birds. While not entirely nutritious, many birds still love the stuff. Then again, most of us love foods that aren't exactly nutritious! These birds often include juncos, sparrows, towhees, blackbirds, grackles, and doves.
Doves will honestly eat just about anything.
You love corn, and birds love corn, everyone loves corn. But when it comes to using corn in your feeders, there are two options you can choose from. And depending on which you use, it can attract a somewhat invasive type of bird.
Kernel corn is more popular among the larger birds, as it is rather big and smaller guys can't get it. Here you will typically see jays, crows, ravens, grackles, and even ducks. Critters like raccoon, opossums, and rabbits also love the stuff, and they will love you for it. Something to keep in mind if you aren't trying to bring them in.
However, cracked corn is much smaller, and therefore, more birds will significantly enjoy it. However, it also attracts House Sparrows, which are an invasive species and somewhat territorial. A good idea may be to fill a separate feeder with cracked corn to draw those guys away from the rest of the crowd.
While there are only a few larger birds who can get through peanuts in the shell, shelled peanuts are also an option and bring in many more birds. If you are looking to bring in a wider selection of flyers, shelled is the way to go. Otherwise, you'll be dealing with more crows, ravens, woodpeckers, grackles, and magpies.
Not a bad thing by any means, but if you are looking for smaller birds, you should invest in shelled peanuts. Besides, peanuts are incredibly healthy and can provide a significant amount of fat and protein, which can help in the winter months. But be sure to get unsalted, roasted peanuts, as a lot of sodium is not too high for birds.
Our Review Process
While we have not personally tried these bird seeds out, you can be sure that all of the information here is accurate and thorough. That's because we take data from multiple accredited sources, including their Amazon product page, quality reviews, and the product site as well. Real user reviews are considered essential.
We want to make sure that this best bird seed list gives you all the information you need to make the right decision, and transparency is vital.
The Best Bird Seed
When it comes to choosing the best bird seed, there are some things that you should take into consideration. For example, what kind of birds do you want to attract or keep away? Do you also want to feed critters like raccoons and squirrels?
You also want to know what kind of seed is just filler stuff that birds won't enjoy. Stuff like milo and oats will do a great job at filling up that big bag of seed you just bought, but birds will barely touch it. The best bird seed is full of quality seed that birds will enjoy.
Wagner's Greatest Variety Blend
- Our best mix to attract the greatest variety of colorful songbirds
- A gourmet blend with 11 different ingredients including 40% sunflower
- Can be fed in a tube, hopper, or platform feeders
- Convenient velcro press-lok
- Made in the USA
If you're looking for birdseed that'll bring in a ton of different types of birds, this is it. Wagner's Greatest Variety blend includes both kinds of sunflower seeds, safflower, white millet, Nyjer, peanut pieces, cracked corn, tree nuts, raisins, red millet, and canary seed.
Now while red millet and canary seed are not high on the brings in the birds list, they'll still be eaten by some birds. And if you are trying to get as many as possible, it doesn't hurt to include those.
This blend has a 4.4 out of 5.0-star rating on Amazon and is made by one of the biggest names in birdseed. So you can be sure it's worth your money.
While only containing Nyjer seed, it's the right choice if you want to attract a specific type of bird. Nyjer is also a high energy food, which makes it great for the summer months when the birds are very active. Kaytee Nyjer seed also has a high oil content, which is nutritious for the birds.
With 4.2 out of 5.0 stars on Amazon, birds aren't the only ones that seem to love this seed. But you can be sure that your Goldfinches will thoroughly enjoy your choice.
Lyric High Energy mix
- A high-energy wild bird mix featuring a gourmet blend of select fruits, seeds and shell-free nuts
- 12 premium, all natural ingredients
- Attracts chickadees, robins, orioles, blue jays, titmice, buntings, cardinals, grosbeaks, towhees, nuthatches and Cedar Waxwings
- No fillers for less waste
- Gourmet blend of ingredients
Like trail mix for birds, the Lyric High Energy mix is an excellent choice for those cold winter months. With 13 premium ingredients featuring shell free nuts, seeds, and fruit, your birds are going to have a field day with this blend.
The seeds include both types of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and corn. The fruits you'll find here are cherries, cranberries, and raisins. Finishing it off with the nuts are almonds, pecans, pistachios, and cashews.
Birds and humans seem to love this blend, giving it a 4.2 out of 5.0 stars. Your backyard neighbors will be very grateful to you if you provide them with this mix in the coldest months of the year.
Wagner's Safflower Seed
Another Wagner's choice, but this time is giving you a specific seed. This high-quality safflower seed will make your cardinals and other songbirds very happy campers. Not to mention, it may greatly discourage squirrels and other critters if that is your mission.
With a 4.5 out of 5.0 stars on Amazon, this comes as one of the most favorable choices on our best bird seed list.
Lyric Supreme Wild Bird Mix
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Unlike their thistle seed option, this Supreme mix brings in variety of flying friends. With seven different seeds and three varieties of nuts, birds of all types will be flocking to your backyard for their afternoon meal. Not to mention, there are absolutely no fillers or unwanted seeds here.
Plus 4.4 out of 5.0 stars is a pretty excellent rating. So if you want the most amount of birds at your feeder, look no further.
Wagner's Songbird Supreme
- A blend of preferred seed to attract your favorite backyard songbirds
- Contains 50% sunflower and other premium wild bird food ingredients
- Can be fed in a tube, hopper, or platform feeders
- Convenient reclosable slider
- Made in the USA
Here is Wagner's clap back at Lyric's supreme mix. With a whopping 50 percent of the blend black oil sunflowers, it's a great way to attract a ton of different birds. There are also no fillers here, which is always a good sign.
Customers seem to be singing just as many songs as the songbirds, giving the Songbird Supreme 4.3 out of 5.0 stars on Amazon.
Audubon Critter Crunch
- Specially blended for backyard wildlife
- Attracts chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, deer, jays, quail, woodpeckers and chickadees
- An all natural blend of corn, black oil sunflower seeds, peanuts and whole peanuts
- For use in platform or table feeders
- Family owned, American made
Looking to feed not only your bird friends but your mammal ones as well? The Critter Crunch by Audubon is what you are looking for. One of the only feeds made for both birds and other backyard wildlife, you'll find a blend of corn, black oil sunflowers, and peanuts.
Available in both 5 pounds and 15, everyone seems to think squirrels aren't that bad after all, giving it 4.1 out of 5.0-stars.
Kaytee Safflower Seed
- Attracts Cardinals, Chickadees, Nuthatches, Grosbeaks, and More
- High-oil content seed very desirable to songbirds
- Bird-favorite safflower seeds are high in protein
Kaytee is back with another exclusive birdseed, safflower. It's a high-oil seed will be the hit of the party for cardinals, chickadees, and other songbirds. And it only contains safflower, so you won't have to worry about extra fillers.
But it looks like it isn't just a hit among birds. Receiving a 4.3 out of 5.0-stars on Amazon makes it a very lovable bird food with everyone.
Wagner's Nyjer Seed
- The favorite seed of Finches including the desirable Goldfinch
- Contains 150,000 seeds per pound creating many visits to the feeder
- An extra clean seed that provides high energy content for backyard songbirds
- Convenient reclosable slider
- Ideal for use in Finch feeders which have smaller holes and tiny perches
Wagner's makes a return with their Nyjer seed. Containing nearly 150,000 seeds per pound, this seed is sure to bring in any number of finches to your yard. It's an excellent choice if you have a private feeder for your favorite songbirds.
And if the songbird's song wasn't enough to make you smile, 4.3 out of 5.0-stars is sure to do the trick.
Audubon Songbird Blend
- Bring a variety of colorful songbirds to your backyard with this popular blend
- Attracts finches, nuthatches, sparrows, juncos, chickadees, cardinals and buntings
- Premium blend; white proso millet, black oil sunflower seeds, cracked corn, safflower seeds, chipped sunflower seeds (shell-free), peanuts and striped sunflower seeds
- For use in hopper, tube or platform feeders
- Family owned, American made
Audubon is here to bring you a massive selection of songbirds into your life with their songbird blend. Containing a premium blend of white millet, all types of sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, and peanuts, you can be sure that you are giving your birdies only the best.
And if ratings are what win you over, it's by far the highest we've got here, with 4.9 out of 5.0-stars on Amazon. This might be the best bird seed blend you can find!
Keep Your Birds Happy
Listening to the birds sing and chirp outside your window is enough to calm anyone. And depending on the type of seed you are putting out, you could listen to a whole selection of bird calls throughout your day. Knowing what's in the best bird seed is an excellent way to continue giving the best to your talkative buddies.
Are you a bird watcher and have your favorite or best bird seed? We want to know what works for you!