I want to start feeding birds in my backyard this winter. What seed should I put out to get the most birds I can?
Insects are hard to find in winter, so birds that stay in colder regions through the winter rely largely on seed. the best thing you can do to bring a greater variety of birds into your yard is to offer a large variety of seed.
Offer different types, in different feeders, at different heights above the ground.
Here’s our best selection of seeds that attract wild birds throughout the winter.
Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are a favorite. They attract woodpeckers, blue jays, chickadees, nuthatches, finches and titmice. Make sure to keep these feeders away from trees and posts that squirrels and rats can climb.
Be sure to use the black sunflower seeds – no the grey and white striped seeds that you might eat at a baseball game. The black ones are higher in oil, have softer shells, and are much, much cheaper!
This little seed is wonderful for attracting goldfinches. It’s a tiny black seed that can easily blow away in the wind – so be sure to use the right feeder for this one. Some feeders are designed specifically for Nyjer seed – they have tiny holes, and posts or spirals going all the way up the feeder for multiple birds to eat at once.
One of the joys of goldfinches is they don’t mind people. Once they know there’s consistent food, they won’t be bothered by you watching them through a winder a couple feet away.
Economical yet effective. This mix will attract cardinals, sparrows, doves, chickadees, goldfinches, jays, nuthatches, siskins and more. it contains 855% oil seeds that your wild birds will love. And what’s more perfect than songbirds on a clear winter day?
Also, the bags are recyclable.
Birds love suet. It’s perfct for replenishing depleted energy and nutrients that are sometimes hard to find in the winter. The added fats and oils help them sustain a higher winter metabolism. Try it in seed, berry, or insect varieties. This is a great option if you want woodpeckers!
Don’t forget about the important of staying hydrated in the winter! Bird baths are a wonderful way to keep the brids you’re attracting healthy and strong through the winter. If you bird bath keeps freezing, consider purchasing a submersible water heater.
If you’re just starting to bring winter birds to your yard, be patient. It may take a week or two for the birds to find the feeders. But once they do, they’ll come back every day looking for more – bringing their chirps and songs, and giving you a great show during your morning coffee.
Good Luck and Happy Bird Watching!