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Choosing the Right Seed

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CHOOSING THE RIGHT SEED

When choosing the right seed for your seed feeder our recommendation is to use Black oil sunflower seeds. Black oil sunflower seeds are a favorite of most North American wild birds and will attract a wide variety of birds to your feeder.

When it comes to seed...quality matters!

It is important to purchase high-quality seed/nuts for your birdfeeders. Less expensive seed and seed blends may contain fillers such as wheat, oats, and milo. These are inexpensive ingredients that are meant to fill out the bag. The birds will leave these less desirable ingredients untouched or simply, sweep them out of the way with their beaks to access the more appealing black oil sunflower seeds. Typically, cheaper blends only contain a smattering of black oil sunflower.

Investing in a high-quality seed will ensure that you get more “bang for your buck”. In other words, you might spend more but you will have less waste, less mess beneath your feeders and the birds will be happier and healthier!

Interest in birding has soared since the Covid pandemic started. With so many people working from home and parents home-schooling their children, birding has been discovered as an educational and stress-reducing activity. The demand for birdseed has never been higher. As a result, we are seeing seed shortages throughout the U.S. and Canada. More than ever, it is important to check the seed you are purchasing to be sure the milo/millet content is low. We recommend using different bird food is for use in specialty feeders such as the Squirrel Buster® Peanut, Squirrel Buster® Nut, Squirrel Buster® Suet and the Squirrel Buster® Finch feeders.

Take note that we also like to throw a handful of safflower, peanuts and even fresh fruit in our Seed Buster Tray feeder.

BLACK OIL SUNFLOWER

 

Black oil sunflower attracts a wide variety of wild birds. They have a high fat and protein content which is essential to wild birds especially in colder temperatures. This is our first choice in seed.

 

SHELLED PEANUTS

 

Peanuts are popular with many species. We recommend peanuts in the specialty feeders such as the Squirrel Buster® Peanut, Squirrel Buster® Nut and the tray feeder. Birds consume the entire shelled peanut, so there are no shells to accumulate under the feeder. Very small bits that may fall below the feeder will be eaten by ground-feeding birds or squirrels. Food is not wasted and there is no mess to clean up. Ideal for decks, condos and apartments.

Peanuts are an excellent source of calories and energy and are popular with many species.

It is important for peanuts to stay fresh and dry as they are known to harbour aflatoxins.  If bird traffic is slow at your peanut feeder you might have to discard your peanuts and replace with fresh nuts.

 

SPANISH PEANUTS

Spanish peanuts are a variety of red skinned peanuts. They have all the same characteristics and qualities as regular shelled peanuts. Spanish peanuts have a slightly higher oil content, and their paper-thin skins are full of nutrients. Birds consume the entire shelled peanut, so there are no shells to accumulate under the feeder. Very small bits that may fall below the feeder will be eaten by ground-feeding birds or squirrels. Food is not wasted and there is no mess to clean up. Ideal for decks, condos and apartments.

 

SUET

Suet cakes are a high energy food and can be offered year-round. Suet comes in many varieties but we especially like one packed with seeds and nuts. Be sure to buy the no melt variety for the summer months! It will attract a variety of birds to your back yard. We have seen Woodpeckers, Cardinals, Chickadees, Nuthatches and even Orioles savoring at our Squirrel Buster® Suet.

SUET NUGGETS

They are a new high energy suet-based soft wild bird food product. These ready to feed, no waste nuggets are a favorite of all suet, fruit and insect-eating birds. They come in a wide range of flavors allowing you to choose which birds you wish to attract. Nuggets are 100% pure food. They will last longer in the feeder requiring less frequent filling and are easy to store and handle when filling your feeder. Birds consume the entire nugget, so there are no shells to accumulate under the feeder. Very small bits that may fall below the feeder will be eaten by ground-feeding birds or squirrels. Food is not wasted and there is no mess to clean up. Ideal for decks, condos and apartments.

 

NYJER (thistle)

Nyjer seed is loved by finch and other wild birds. We recommend using it in your Squirrel Buster® Finch feeder. Nyjer is very light and should only be used in specialty feeders with very small openings as it is expensive, and seed can be easily blown away by the wind. Nyjer will spoil if moisture gets in the tube. It is recommended to replace your seeds often if the bird traffic is slow.

SAFFLOWER

Safflower seeds have tougher shells than sunflower seeds but are popular with most sunflower seed eating birds. Safflower seeds are pricier than black oil sunflower seeds and have a similar nutritional value. These bitter seeds are said to be a deterrent for Black Birds, Starlings, and squirrels. We like to add these in our tray feeder because Cardinals love them.

SUNFLOWER HEARTS/CHIPS

Sunflower hearts are very popular with birds as they are very easy to eat and leave no mess under the feeders. They are pricier than most seeds, in some stores triple the price of the black oil sunflower seeds.

Sunflower hearts tend to be oily and have been known to clog up the feeder. It is important to wash your feeders regularly. We do not recommend these for our bigger feeders, but they work well in our smaller feeders like the Squirrel Buster® Mini or the Standard. It is a good idea not to offer more than a couple of days worth of food at a time due to the risk of spoiling.

SHELLED AND CRACKED CORN

Corn is a common ingredient in most commercial blends but can also be a calling card for nuisance birds! It is often referred to as a filler and offers little nutritional value. Like the peanuts, corn is susceptible to spoiling in humid weather. You will need to be sure that it does not sit too long in your feeder.

WHITE PROSO MILLET

Millet is well liked by ground feeders. It is an ingredient in many mixed seed blends. We do not recommend using this alone as it is a favorite of some common nuisance birds. We like to sprinkle it in our tray feeder from time to time to give our avian friends a change in menu. Most birds that like white millet also like black oil sunflower seeds. If you’re using a blend, make sure the millet content is low. 

GOLDEN MILLET, RED MILLET, FLAX, WHEAT AND OATS

We have found that these fillers are often wasted as most birds are unimpressed with them. When buying seed blends, we try to steer clear of blends containing these unpopular ingredients.