7 of the Best Bird Foods to Feed Your Birds

Bird eating from coconut shell
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In this article, I will be discussing 7 of the best foods to feed your bird friends. We are fast approaching winter, which is a lean time for our feathery friends. Although they can find their own source of food, it will not hurt or harm them to supplement their diet.

There are so many different bird foods out there and it seems a mind field to which one to choose.

Birds eating are a delight
Bird eating seeds

In a previous article, I reviewed 5 of the best bird feeder, but now what stuff should go into these feeders. The food that is within the feeder should be tailored to the bird in question and where the bird feeder should be placed.

You have 4 main types of bird food and this includes; bird seeds, suet, mealworms and peanuts. The food has to be matched to the feeders and not the other way round.

BIRD SEEDS

There are many types of seed that are consumed by birds. When looking for bird seeds they can be bought as solely, such as nyjer seeds, or they can be bought as a seed mix. Birds, in general, have their own preference for seeds and where they would eat them, as some birds are naturally shy.

There are some quality bird seed mixes and there are those who are not. Quantity mixes have plenty of flaked maize, sunflower seeds and broken up peanuts. Small seeds are favoured by smaller birds such as house sparrows, dunnocks and finches. Flaked maize is taken up by blackbirds, whilst tits and greenfinches loves peanuts and sunflower seeds.

Robin Eating Seeds
Sunflower seeds birds love

Poor quality mixes have wheat and barley grain in them, and are not suitable for most birds, apart from doves, pigeons and pheasants. Not something you want visiting your garden. Other seed mixes that have dry pulses such as peas, beans, rice, or cereals, can only be consumed by large birds. These are added to seed mixes to act as a cheap bulking agent.

Believe it or not, dog biscuits are sometimes included, which are seen as green or red lumps in seed mixes. This should be avoided as it can be a choking hazard to birds. Popular seeds for birds to consume are:

BLACK SUNFLOWER SEEDS

This can be used all year round in bird feeders in many areas. Black sunflower seeds have higher oil content than the striped variety of sunflower seeds and therefore much better. De-husked sunflower seeds are also a popular choice, as this produces less mess.

NYJER SEEDS

Another seed that is often sold by itself is nyjer seeds, which are small, black seeds that have a high calorific value. These seeds tend to be loved by goldfinches, tits, house sparrows, nuthatches, woodpeckers, and siskins.

PEANUTS

Crushed and broken peanuts attract a vast array of bird from robins, dunnocks, and even the tiny wren. Some birds even hoard peanuts and can be seen taking the food away in. When you buy peanuts you have to make sure that no salt has been added, or that they are dry roasted, or have any exotic flavours added to them.

Tit eating peanuts
Tit eating peanuts

All you need is a dry-skinned, unsalted peanut that has not been cooked. This is another high calorific, high-fat feed for birds.

Be warned that peanuts can have a high presence of aflatoxin, a natural toxin that can kill birds. You have to ensure that any peanuts that you buy are from reputable dealers. This is why peanut suitable for human consumption may not be suitable for birds.

MEALWORM

Insect eaters are impartially to mealworms. Pied wagtails, tits and robins will be attracted to your garden if you fill your bird feeder with this delight.

Yummy mealworms
Yummy mealworms

Mealworms are the birds’ natural food throughout the year. It is not cheap as mealworms have to be breed professionally, which is not easy to do. More labour means more cost.

Any mealworms that you use are not dead or discoloured, as they may harbour salmonella bacteria. This can be deadly to the birds.

OTHER INSECTS

If you have the money, you can buy specialised feeds for insect consuming birds. Waxworms are an excellent choice but are very expensive. Soft bill food and ant pupae can be bought from bird food suppliers and pet shops. These can attract rarely seem birds like tree creepers and one of the smallest bird you are likely to see, the wren.

FATBALLS AND FAT CAKES

Fat balls and fat cakes are an excellent addition to the winter bird food regime, where they will attract birds like there is no tomorrow, It is an excellent winter feed for birds, as it is rich in fat and will provide enough energy for its needs.

When buying fat balls or fat cakes, also known as suet balls and suet cakes, make sure that the netting it comes with is removed. This can trap and injure birds. This is why you should use bird feeders suitable for suet balls or suet cakes.

OTHER SOURCES OF FOOD

Tinned dog and cat food are an acceptable substitute to earthworms in dry, warm, summers, where the worms go into hiding. Blackbirds love dogfood and will happily consume it and bring it to feed its chicks with.

Dog biscuits are not recommended at all, even if they are moist. Do not buy at all to feed birds.

Milk cannot be used at all as it can kill birds. However, fermented dairy products such as hard cheese can be used. It can be grated and added to your seed mixes. This will attract robins, wrens and dunnocks to your garden.

Bird eating from coconut shell
Bird eating from coconut shell

Coconut shell halves can be used as long as it is fresh. Make sure that any coconut water has been removed, as this can promote the build-up of black soot, a fungal condition that grows on the coconut itself. Dry coconut should never be used as this can swell in the bird’s stomach and can cause death. So desiccated coconut is a big no-no.

Cooked rice will be accepted by all birds in a severe winter, as long as it has no salt added. Uncooked rice is not readily taken by small birds, but large bird may do.

Uncooked porridge oats are also taken by numerous bird species, as cooked porridge can harden around beaks, making eating difficult.

BLACK SUNFLOWER SEEDS

Name of Product: Birdie Black Sunflower Seeds- Bird Seed For Wild Birds.

Best Place to Buy: www.amazon.co.uk

Product Dimensions: 68cm x 45cm x 13cm

Shipping Weight: 12.7kg.

This is a product of high-quality black sunflower seeds that bird will love. They use the highest quality British grown sunflower seed, which goes into this bird feeder. They are directly taken from the mill and have a long shelf-life.

The seeds contain all essential fats and proteins needed for the birds to maintain high energy levels and a healthy life.

The formula has been designed, so that hanging feeder, bird tables, or ground feeders can all be filled with this food.

As an added bonus, the black sunflower seeds will not germinate if a bird accidentally drops some in your garden.

PROS
  • A large number of seeds for a reasonable price.
  • Has the right nutritional value for many birds.
  • The seeds are of the highest quality.
  • The seeds will not germinate if it is accidentally dropped in the garden.
  • Birds love the product.

CONS
  • Users have complained that the bag the seed comes in is not of the highest quality, as it shreds and gets mixed up with the seeds themselves. This can choke the birds.

NYJER SEEDS

Name of Product: Birdies Nyjer Bird Seeds- Bird Food for Colourful Wild Birds

Best Place to Buy: www.amazon.co.uk

Product Dimensions: 64.8cm x 39.9cm x 13.1cm

Shipping Weight: 12.6 kg.

This is a premium quality nyjer seed that will attract birds to your garden. It is best to use these small, black seeds in a specific nyjer seed bird feeder. As with the black sunflower seeds, it comes straight from the mill, which ensures that it has a long expiry date.

Nyjer seeds are ideal for bird as it packed full of energy to keep a bird going in winter. The seed are all full of protein, which will help in the regeneration of bird feathers in late autumn to early spring.

In order to prevent a mess forming in a garden, all husks have been removed. This ensures that the bird will digest the food easier and make sure that any seeds that drop in the garden will not germinate. An excellent product for keen bird watchers in the garden.

PROS
  • You get a large number of seeds for such a reasonable price.
  • High in saturated fat and high on protein to give energy to birds.
  • Seeds are of the highest quality.
  • De-husked to aid bird digestion and stop it germinating in the garden.
  • Birds love this product.

CONS
  • For hungry birds, you may not have enough product.

MIXED BIRD SEEDS

Name of Product: Happy Beaks No Wheat Wild Bird Food Seed Mix

Best Place to Buy: www.amazon.co.uk

Shipping Weight: 2 x 12.75kg bags

This is specially designed mixed birdseed food that has no wheat grain within it. This means doves and pigeons will not be attracted to it but small birds most certainly will. The birdseed is packed full of fats, proteins and nutrients that small birds love and need.

It consists of a mixture of black sunflower seed, maize, Dari and millet. It is perfect for birds in the breeding season, where more energy is required to rear the young. In winter, it provided the right balance of feed to ensure all birds are supplemented in their time of need.

PROS
  • For the amount of product, you are getting a lot of product for the price.
  • It has enough fats, proteins and nutrients for birds in the breeding season and especially in winter.
  • A varied diet for varied birds.
  • Birds love it.

CONS
  • It contains millet which may not be the birds favourite. This is how dependent on the birds that visit your garden.

PEANUTS

Name of Product: MALTBYS Stores Peanut Wild Bird Food

Best Place to Buy: www.amazon.co.uk

Shipping Weight: 10kg

This is a high-quality peanut that birds will love. The peanuts have been processed so that birds can consume them without the fear of them choking. The peanuts are smaller than those normally found in other bird food brands, so you have more confidence that the birds will not be harmed. This will give the birds the right amount of fat, protein and nutrients they need.

As long as the peanuts are housed in the right feeder then birds will visit your garden for these treats.

PROS
  • Reasonably priced for the amount of peanuts you get.
  • Provide your feathery friends with the right amount of fat, nutrients and proteins.
  • The peanuts are smaller than normal, allowing smaller birds to eat without problems.

CONS
  • Birds can go through them pretty quickly and so 10kg may not be enough.

SUET FAT BALLS

Name of Product: Peckish Natural Balance Energy Suet Fat Balls

Best Place to Buy: www.amazon.co.uk

Product Dimensions: 27cm x 27cm x 23cm

Shipping Weight: 4.34kg.

This is a high energy fat ball that is vitamin-enriched. It is made out of a blend of seeds and suet that will attract a wide range of birds to your garden. The birds derive their energy from these balls and can be used throughout the year.

It is also enriched with Carotenoid to help the feather colouration to develop and to protect it from any sunlight damage. Calcium is aloes added to aid in bone and feather growth and in the production of the eggshell.

Vitamin A, D, E and biotin are also added to strengthen bones and beaks. It will also make the birds grow health and to have good reproduction abilities.

There are 50 standard-sized suet balls in this pack, which should fit standard sized suet ball bird feeders.

PROS
  • You get 50 suet balls for such a reasonable price.
  • It has all the nutrients, fats and proteins that birds will need throughout the years.
  • One ball will last a long time unless you have particularly hungry birds.
  • Vitamin and nutrient-enriched to provide the bird with all its nutrient needs.
  • Birds love them.

CONS
  • I cannot think of any.

SUET CAKES

Name of Product: Suet T0 Go Blueberry and Raisin Suet Block Wild Bird Treat.

Best Place to Buy: www.amazon.co.uk

Product Dimensions: 26cm x 10.8cm x 10.8cm

Number of Suet Block Supplied: 10

Shipping Weight: 3.1kg.

Suet cakes or suet blocks are a great alternative to suet balls. Instead of being spherical in nature they come in block shape so allowing more birds to consume the product in one go. This is a premium grade suet that is packed with insects, so adding interest to our feathery friends.

It not only provide nutrient to the birds when they need them but is also less messy. It will not crumble to bits, as the birds consume it. Nobody likes cleaning bird feed mess.

It also has an added advantage of the suet not melting in the blazing, summer sun. You can, therefore, use this product all year round.

PROS
  • You get a lot of product for your buck.
  • It has plenty of nutrients, fats and proteins to feed birds when they need it the most.
  • Not messy at all.
  • Can be used in hot summer months.
  • Birds love them.

CONS
  • You may need more than one packet to keep the birds happy and to keep returning.

MEALWORMS

Name of Product: Livefood UK Live Mealworms Regular 1KG (2 x 500g bags)

Best Place to Buy: www.amazon.co.uk

Shipping Weight: 1kg.

This is a high quality, well-package, live mealworms that most insect loving birds go wild for. It provides the protein and nutrients that the birds are looking for. If you want to attract birds to your garden and you want to give something different, then this is the product for you.

PROS
  • Birds love them
  • Provide proteins to the birds
  • Comes in a well-packaged container, so that the mealworms live and cannot do the great escape.

CONS
  • It is the most expensive of all the bird foods I have reviewed here.
  • It will not last a long time, as it will be quickly consumed by birds.
  • Not for the squeamish.

CONCLUSIONS

In this article, 7 of the best foods to feed your bird friends have been discussed. As you can see you are not limited to just one type of food but at least 4 different types. The food is important as it will give the birds a balanced diet that will not only keep them healthy but will keep them visiting your garden time after time.

Remember it is important to match the food you buy for the birds to the bird feeder, and not the other way around. No matter if you buy them seeds, suet balls, cakes, or mealworms. There is a bird that will like it. They will not thank you for it but you know in your heart that they will enjoy it. In winter this is so important, but if you get it right you will be rewarded with a vast array of bird visitors to your garden.

If you have any questions or comments that are pecking on your mind, please leave them in the bird box below

Happy bird watching.

Do not forget to tweet this post.

Thanks.


24 thoughts on “7 of the Best Bird Foods to Feed Your Birds”

  1. If there is one thing I like most is that you have shared what is needed to make up the food to feed the birds but also, you have shared links to buying them. This, in fact, is really awesome and I appreciate a lot. Thank you so much. I am still working on ways to bring in lots of birds into my garden and I hope soon

    1. Hi  Rodarrick

      Thank you for stopping by once again and commenting, I always try to be as helpful as possible and hope people take my recommendations aboard.

      By wise and choose one today.

      Kind Regards

      Antonio 

  2. Hi, I remember watching the movie “G.I. Jane”  with Demi Moore as the first woman navy seal, and she loves that quote that  says” I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.” That quote is by D.H Lawreence.

    I am glad that I am a human and I can sleep in a warm bed. IT must be hard to be a small little bird in winter time. I would hope that they fly south where its warmer, but who knows what the birds have planned.

    Anyway, I will make sure that I avoid bird foods with wheat an barley in them as they are the worst quality indicators.  Even some have dog treats included. Talk about cheaping out on your product, even the birds don’t want to eat it. Maybe you can try to feed it to your dog but he probably wont’t eat it either. 

    I will make sure that I keep an eye out for the good quality bird foods like you recommended. That way I can make some new bird friends. Thanks.

    1. Hi Jake

      Thank you for that long and detailed comment. Believe it or not, I have never seen GI  Jane but it is a good quote from DH Lawrence.  I thank you for considering what type of food to buy and as you say some have inferior mixes that do nothing for the bird. I have been careful to avoid these and hope you come up with a good selection for our friends.

      Kind Regards

      Antonio

  3. Hello. Thank’s a lot for this article. 

    I live in Romania and the winter is already here. At my house comes a lot of birds and until now i tried to feed them with bread leaved on in a vessel.

    I noticed that during this period the birds are no longer eat bread. This is why I would like to purchase Nyjer seeds because it will be a heavy winter and the birds will need energy all this time. The price is very cheap and I can afford 17.99$ / month for this special birds.

    Thank you  and keep in touch. All the best ! 

    1. Hi Nim

      I am glad you enjoyed the article and got a lot out of it. I can highly commend your choice as the birds will love it.

      Best luck.

      Antonio

  4. Thanks for this post, I’m already giving them some of this, I will try others too. Since you have good knowledge about birds (judging from this post), I will like to ask this question. Is there anyway of getting rid of black crackles or crows they eat
    all my seeds and the other birds hardly get any of the seeds. I would appreciate any
    advice, I mean any. 

    Thanks in advance. 

    1. Hi Jordan

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting. Big birds can be hard to discourage but you can use specially designed bird feeders that stop them accessing the food. If  a big bird lands on them, the front door closes and they cannot get their food. Read my review on 5 of the Best Bird Feeders to Use in Your Garden to answer your question more.

      Hope it helps

      Antonio

  5. As a regular reader of your blog, I was pleasantly surprised by this article and you have some great ways to attract more birds into your garden. The only food that grosses me out is the mealworms, so I think I will stick to the seed.

    I have recently started growing my seed and I find both the wild birds and my domestic ones love the grass that comes out of these seeds. It grows so quickly and in a few days, you have an instant nutritious meal awaiting your feathered friends.

    1. Hi Michel

      Thank you for being a regular contributor to my website, I really appreciate the time and effort you take. I could not agree with you more, as birds are so important to our environment. This is why getting the feed right is very important, as demonstrated in this article.

      Thanks

      Antonio

  6. Caring for animals especially those that come and goes with Jo permanent home to stay in has been one of my main priorities lately and this has been fun for me. Birds are really lovely to watch and hear especially those that talks a lot, feeding them will be a great idea and it’s also a way of keeping them safe and healthy because they are also living. I like the bird foods that are here, I’m aware of peanut cos I use it, I’ll try and get some others from the list, thanks.

    1. Hi KingAndrea

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting, as it is really appreciated. Garden birds bring joy to many people and to get them to visit our garden, we need to lay and give the right food. Get it right and you will have many visitors. Peanuts are a good source and not to badly priced.

      Kind Regards

      Antonio

  7. Hello there thanks for putting out this article I would be of great help for bird lovers to think about the nutrient and food that birds require I used to have a pet bird Janet she die although due to poor nutrition I use to feed her rice and some other stuff never knowing that bird feed exists not until I fell sick I took her to vet and they told me she been having a wrong diet, but I was too late anyway.thanks for this review I have been using Birdies Black Sunflower for some time and they are great.

    1. Hi Davis

      I am sorry that you lost a pet bird due to lack of proper nutrients.  Birds are such beautiful creatures and if you feed them right, they will look their best. This is especially true for outside garden birds, as they can lack certain nutrients in their diet. This is why these bird food were chosen as I believe they are the best for birds.

      Kind Regards

      Antonio

  8. For a truth, this is literally interesting and superb. You know, getting the right bird food that comprises of everything needed is not really an easy thing to do but then, with timing and proper input of work, it can be done and this is okay to know of. Thanks so much for sharing this. Just maybe some days soon, I will order for two of these to be used. Thanks

    1. Hi Bella

      Thank you for the visit and thank you for the comment. it is always good to get other people’s opinion and yes getting the bird food right is very important. If you do not, the birds will not visit your garden.

      Kind regards.

      Antonio

  9. Birds are important to our environment and we should be aware of birds. We should save birds to protect our environment but it is important that they visit our gird to get their own food. It is the high time to care birds and now I know how to do this as I have read your article .
    Your article is informative. I get a huge idea from your site about healthy food for birds and I will take it into consideration for my garden for birds.

    1. Hi milimahbuba

       Thank you very much for those kind comments, which are very much appreciated. I am glad you acknowledge that birds are important and that feeding them right is very important. If you read my article you will find out how to do this.

      Kind regards

      Antonio

  10. I’m not really into birds like that but i wouldn’t mind starting now since I’ve got a reasonable article here to serve me the foods they can eat. I have a tree in my garden and it’s very big that it houses a lot of birds even though I didn’t pay attention to them, it’ll be a nice idea to bless these creatures in my own little way. It’ll be better for me to get the packed feeds you have suggested rather than the natural foods they eat because of convenience. It’s been really helpful to have this information.

    1. Hi Widecoll

      Thank you for those kind words. It is a hungry time for birds as they have to rely on humans for their food. It is good to keep them in mind as the weather can turn nasty.

      Kind Regards

      Antonio

  11. There is no human that likes birds, as much as I like birds. Only good heart people like you can take good initiatives like yours, considering the well-being of birds. Every day there are so many different types of birds that come in my garden that I love seeing them so I also want to make them happy so your post is very useful to me. I will buying this 7 Best Birds Foods for my garden birds. Go ahead like this I’m with you.

    1. Hi Sasthi 

      Thank you for visiting my website and I am glad you got a lot from reading my article. I hope you try some to get this beautiful visitors to your garden.

      Kind regards

      Antonio

  12. To be honest I never thought I would be reading an article about bird feeding but for some reason your article caught my attention and from planning to go past it fastly I ended up reading the whole thing with great interest hahaha. When I was little we used to have many birds in our house so in a way your article brought back a lot of memories. Thank you for the pleasant reading.

    1. Hi Stratos

      it is a pleasure to give people advice to what bird food can be used in your garden to attract these feathery friends.

      All the best

      Antonio

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