We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products-learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
Best Bird Feeds to Provide Your Feathered Friends With Constant Food Supply in 2023
Birds have their own way of finding food and don’t have to depend on humans most of the time. But, during winters, they do need our help to give them enough food to sustain the cold days. That’s because harsh winter winds blow away natural seed sources, and there are tons of predators roaming around in search of food. In such situations, if you provide them with the greatest bird feeds in 2023, they would be able to survive throughout the season.
However, there are tons of bird food packages that you can find on the market, which can be confusing as not all of them are suitable for birds. Most of them are made for specific bird species and might not be ideal for others. That’s why we have gone through seed mixtures and reviewed top food packages for birds to help you select the perfect one to help these flying creatures.
This bird feed is quite popular in the market due to its carefully curated ingredients. It contains over 11 different types of seeds, with three varieties of sunflower seeds that take up 40% of the mixture. Some of the ingredients include cracked corns, kernels, millet, thistle, and more, which makes it perfect for all types of birds. Besides, this package contains over 16 pounds of seeds that can easily last for more than two months. You can also use this mixture for feeding squirrels and ground birds like pigeons and sparrows.
It contains both black oil and striped sunflower seeds that are highly preferred by various birds
This seed mixture contains eleven different ingredients, including both small and large seeds
It is the top food choice of wild birds and ground feeders as the seeds have thin hulls
This bird feed has proper clear packaging for better inspection
This seed mixture is difficult to find as it sells out in no time
It is clearly known that black oil sunflower seed is the top food choice for wild birds, and this seed package only contains this single ingredient. Moreover, it has high oil content that provides maximum energy to the birds to stay strong throughout the year. Thus, it acts as a natural magnet for Cardinals, woodpeckers, Chickadees, and other wild birds that are quite difficult to find.
Besides, this seed mixture contains thinner hulls so that small birds can easily eat them without choking. However, make sure to discard old seeds before refilling your feeder with new contents to avoid any fungus or bacteria growth.
It contains single grain black oil sunflower seeds that attract wild birds
It contains 5 pounds of seeds that can last for a month
This seed mixture has thin hulls for easy chewing
This bird feed package has high oil content that is essential for migratory birds
Squirrels and chipmunks might eat away all sunflower seeds
This bird mixture only contains sunflower seeds which might not provide enough nutrition to various birds
The Lyric seed mixture is specifically made for small birds that cannot consume large food like corn or peanuts. This package contains finely chopped pistachios, nuts, millet, sunflower seeds, flax, kernels, pumpkin seeds, and more. It is perfect for baby birds who need enough Vitamin E in their diet. The seeds also have thinner hulls so that birds with tiny beaks can chew them easily. Besides, this mixture does not contain any seed shells or fillers, which often form debris inside the package and take up all the space.
This bird feed contains finely chopped seeds to provide maximum nutrition
This mixture is free from shells, hulls, and seed fillers, that often take up space
The seeds will not undergo germination process when kept in the feeder
It contains a high amount of Vitamin E that is essential for proper growth
This seed mixture is not suitable for domestic birds
Exotic birds love eating fruits and have specific food preferences. If you have a Quaker or Cockatiel that is quite picky when it comes to eating, then this bird feed will help you a lot. It is designed explicitly for exotic birds and contains pellets made with whole grains and natural fruit flavors. The pellets would help your bird get enough nutrition without compromising on taste. On top of that, each cup of FruitBlend pellets contains several types of Vitamins, minerals, proteins, and amino acids that make up for a healthier diet.
The pellets come in various shapes and colors that will attract your bird
It is made with whole grain and contains natural fruit flavor
The pellets are of the perfect chewable size and won’t choke your bird
It contains all essential nutrients, like amino acids, and vitamins and is perfect for maintaining a healthy diet
It can hardly last for a month due to low shelf life
This bird feed is specifically designed for small birds like Parakeets, Goldfinches, Canaries, and more. It contains all major seeds like millet, canola, canary grass seed, thistle, and flax, all of which are absolute favorites of these birds. On top of that, the seeds are blended to perfection so that they can be chewed easily and provide maximum nutrition to small birds. You can use this seed mixture for feeding small domestic birds or the ones that visit your garden. It helps in improving the skin and fur coats of these birds.
It has a good seed mix proportion that gives enough nutrition to small birds
This package has a finely chopped seed mixture for easy chewing
It is perfect for feeding both domestic and wild small birds
It gives off a citrusy scent that attracts various birds
This package is difficult to find as it quickly goes out of stock
Buying Guide for the Best Bird Feeds
Though the idea of birds frequently visiting your garden might seem exciting, it is important to feed them properly so that they don’t get any health issues. Birds have completely different nutritional needs and cannot eat human food as it is harmful to them. That’s why it is essential to get a good bird feed package with a proper seed mixture to provide them with a constant food supply. However, there are certain factors that you should know while buying bird food, like ingredients, seed ratio, quantity, etc. Below, we have mentioned all the essential information that will help you select the best bird feed.
What Are the Important Factors in a Bird Feed Package?
While buying a bird feed package, it is important to see its quantity. The quantity or size depends on the number of birds that come to your garden for their meals. If your garden gets frequent bird visits, then it is better to buy bulk packages. They are quite affordable and have a higher shelf life as well. But, if you have domestic or caged birds, then go for small packages of 1 or 2 pounds as they can easily last for over a month and provide enough nutrition for a single bird.
A bird feed package that only contains a particular type of seed won’t attract various birds. That’s because different birds have different beaks, nutrition requirements, and seed preferences. Due to this, it is essential to look for seed mixtures that contain a proper amount of all types of big and small seeds so that both large and small birds can eat them easily. Most bird feed packages have a mixture of sunflower seeds, thistles, kernels, millets, etc., that serves as a perfect invitation for wild birds of all types.
Packaging matters a lot while buying a bird feed mixture as it helps in determining whether the contents are fresh or not. Usually, seed mixtures are packed in plastic or paper bags that allow easy inspection of the food inside. If the bag does not have clear packaging, then do not buy it as there are chances the mixture might contain lots of hulls or other debris. A transparent cover helps you to inspect properly and know whether the contents are the same as stated in the description box or not.
It is extremely important to check the ingredients list on the bird feed package while making a purchase. The ingredient list lets you know if the seeds have passed non-GMO tests and whether they were treated with pesticides or insecticides. If you don’t see any such thing mentioned in the ingredient list, avoid buying the package as the contents can be highly toxic for birds and might lead to death. Though wild birds have higher chances of survival in case of toxic seed intake, the same is not for domestic birds as they have lower immunity.
What Type of Seeds Do Birds Love?
Sunflower seeds come in two variants: black oil and striped, and both of them are highly preferred by wild birds. The black oil seeds contain thin shells, due to which, it becomes easier for small birds to eat. They are also rich in fat content, which is essential for Winter and migratory birds.
However, striped sunflower seeds have thick shells and are often consumed by birds with large beaks. They can easily remove the shell and eat the contents inside.
Thistle or Nyjer seeds are extremely small in size and are perfect for birds like American Goldfinches, Common Redpolls, Pine Siskins, etc. It helps them to easily consume large amounts of seeds without having to remove the shells. Though thistle seeds are expensive, they do last for a long time.
White proso millet
Millet is one of the favorite foods of ground feeders like pigeons, sparrows, doves, quails, and more. The best thing about getting white millet is that you don’t need a bird feeder to store them. Simply scatter the seeds on the plain concrete ground and let the birds enjoy their meal. Besides, white millet has a high nutritional value and provides enough energy to the birds.
Cracked or shelled corn is highly preferred by large birds as they are chewable and provide maximum protein. However, cracked corn is also a favorite of squirrels, deers, bears, and some other animals. If you plan on using cracked corn, ensure that the corns do not get wet as it can make them mushy and would lead to fungus or bacteria growth. Besides, you should not buy corn seeds that have red dye marked on them, as they are made for planting purposes and treated with chemicals.
What Is the Standard Price Range for a Bird Feed Package?
The price of a package ultimately depends on its quantity. If you plan on buying a package of 16 pounds or more, the average price range would be from 20 USD to 30 USD. Within this range, you can easily buy a good quality bird feed package with a variety of content. Besides, bulk packages do cost less and have a longer shelf life. But, if you are planning to buy small packages of 2 or 3 pounds for caged birds, then the price range would be from 5 USD to 15 USD.
Why Should You Feed Birds During Winter?
Though Winter gives us holiday vibes and is often related to home and comfort, it is not the same for birds. These beautiful flying creatures do not like Winter because of the scarcity of food they have to encounter.
During Winter, all-natural seed sources are depleted, due to which birds are unable to find any type of food for themselves. Moreover, most live food like insects, worms, and bugs stay under the soil for the whole season.
Another reason why birds need food during Winter is due to predators. Large predators, like cats, squirrels, and other rodents, stay extra hungry during winters and won’t miss a chance to hunt small birds. Due to this, most small birds hide in their nests and do not go for daily food searches. In such conditions, if there is a constant food supply for your feathered friends in their hiding place or any other secure area, they won’t have to stay hungry and will be able to sustain this harsh season.
Bird Feed FAQ
Q: Is it important to feed birds all year round?
A: No, you don’t need to feed them throughout the year. You can feed birds during winters as it becomes difficult to find food during this season.
Q: Should I buy a single ingredient bird feed or a mixed variety?
A: It is better to get a bird feed package with mixed seeds as it would help various birds get food. Seed mixtures contain both large and small seeds that are important for all types of wild birds.
Q: Can I feed bird feed to my domestic bird?
A: No, do not feed your domestic bird with seed food made for wild species. That’s because domestic birds have different nutrition needs and require different food.
The Old House Journal Review Team’s product reviews and in-depth guides are here to help you restore, repair, update, and decorate your home. The content is created by The Old House Journal Review Team. The Old House Journal editorial staff is not involved. Old House Journal is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. All questions regarding articles or product testing can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org