Specific Bird Feed Attracts Specific Birds

By Scott Collier; Owner; Wild Birds Unlimited

What kinds of bird feed should I use?

This depends on what kind of birds you want to attract to your feeder.
Do you want finches only, then you use Niger (thistle). It’s not cheap.
Try letting a patch of thistle grow in a corner of the backyard and
enjoy seeing the Goldfinch bring their young to it. Sunflower seed
(oily or stripped) seems to be the best loved by most birds such as
Tufted Titmouse, Chickadees, Cardinals, Bluejays, Finch, Grosbeaks,
Doves, Sparrows (Song, White Crowned, etc) and Pine Siskin. They also enjoy Safflower and Shelled Peanuts.  Birds are also attracted to combinations of seeds called Blends. There are many Blends available with different ratio of seeds,  suets, fruits and insects.

Suets are another treat for the birds. Suet is made from rendered beef fat (removes the impurities) and is available by itself or mixed with other ingredients, nuts, jelly, corn meal and insects. Suet is enjoyed by most birds but loved by woodpeckers.

Orioles: Try half of an orange in your suet cage. This will also
attract Hummingbirds.

Seed: Be sure it is fresh and has not been chemically treated to
prolong shelf life. The fresher the feed, the more the birds will like it.
Store in a covered metal or plastic container. Old seed should be disposed
of regularly. Keep feeders clean and be sure they are thoroughly
dry before putting in the new seed.

How should I feed Hummingbirds and Orioles?

A solution of four parts water and one part sugar for the hummers and a solution of six parts water and one part sugar for the Orioles.
Boiling slows fermenting in the hot weather, it removes the chlorine and helps to dissolve the sugar
This does not need the red coloring in it, as the feeders have
enough red to attract the birds and it does not appear in nature.. Do not use honey or sugar substitutes or brown sugar because honey ferments quickly. The feeders should be hung 5 feet high early to mid April and is most effective near a flower bed.

What should I feed Robins and other non-seed eaters?

Try shredded cheese, raisins ,cherries or cranberries. Mockingbirds also
love cranberries and raisins.  Almost all birds enjoy fruit now and then.

How can I reduce Blackbirds and Starlings?

Use Safflower and don’t throw bread crumbs, etc. on the ground and discontinue use of
table feeders while they are present. Try the tube type feeders. These make it difficult for large
birds, as there is not enough perching area.