There is a variety of seed types available that make perfect food for specific birds. If you’re looking to attract a particular type of bird to your feeders, you need to know which seed type will do the job. While sunflower seeds are the most popular seeds among bird feeders, there are a variety of different seeds that attract even unusual bird species. Here’s a quick rundown of the various varieties of bird seeds in the market.


Tiny, needle-like, black seeds containing rich food value, thistle plants are widely popular among redpolls, goldfinches, pine siskins, and indigo buntings. However, due to the shortage of thistle plants in North America, many bird feeders have replaced these with similar Nyjer plants. These seeds are also small, but rich with nutritious value and attract almost the same species of birds. 


The most popular type of birdseed, sunflower seeds usually come in two types: stripped and black oil. The black oil seeds comprise an extremely thin shell, which can be easily opened by any bird. This is what makes these seeds so popular among every kind of winter bird. Moreover, the kernels within the seed have high food content and make the perfect food for almost every species of bird. 

On the other hand, stripped seeds have a comparatively thicker shell, which many birds are unable to break open. So, if you want to avoid certain birds like house sparrows, or blackbirds, switching to striped sunflower seeds will do the job. Keep in mind that sunflower seeds are very attractive to squirrels, so, if you want to prevent them from devouring the seeds, make sure you use the correct type of feeder to keep the seeds inside.  


Filled with a lot of nutrients, peanuts are another popular bird seed option, primarily among woodpeckers, chickadees, crows, titmice, jays, and many other bird species. However, other animals like raccoons, bears, and squirrels are also attracted to peanuts, and your choice of the feeder should therefore ensure the supply is not depleted. Moreover, peanuts develop aflatoxins if they absorb moisture, and therefore should be kept dry. Thus, the feed should be changed regularly, especially during the rainy season.   

Shelled And Cracked Corn

Corn is a very good option for many breeds of birds, however, there are also many downsides that come with it. While corn is attractive for crows, jays, ravens, quails, turkeys, ducks, pheasants, cardinals, and other bird species, other species you would not expect, such as starlings, cowbirds, sparrows, raccoons, geese, bears, and deers, also favor this feed. Bird feeders at explain how different types of seeds can attract wild animals in addition to birds, and you should therefore be careful using some of these. Secondly, corn, like peanuts, is susceptible to developing aflatoxins, which are very poisonous, even at low levels. Therefore, it’s important that you use tray feeders instead of tube feeders to prevent the corn feed from getting wet.  


Flax and other such seeds are commonly used as filler seeds and don’t offer much nutritious value. If your feed has a huge amount of filler seeds, it will be wasted, and probably contaminated. Therefore, it’s important to stick to a small quantity, and mix it up with a more favorable seed type. 


Unlike the other types of seeds, rapeseed is not very popular among every kind of bird species. However, there are a few species that prefer rapeseed over any other, and if you’re hoping to subsidize them, then this option is the one for you. Doves, quails, and juncos all love rapeseed, but, if you’re not getting these species, the feed will be left to spoil. 


A favorite of many western ground-feeding bird species, sorghum is full of nutritious food value which attracts jays, quails, thrashers, and cowbirds. Make sure you either scatter these seeds on the ground or spread it across low tray feeders. 


Very attractive to cardinals, safflower seeds have a comparatively thicker shell, which is a bit challenging to break. However, it offers a great deal of food value for many bird species. Native sparrows, doves, chickadees, grosbeaks, and some other bird species also prefer safflower seeds. A good choice for offering these seeds is a tray or hopper feeder, to attract more birds.  

As a regular bird feeder, it’s your responsibility to be informed about the different types of bird seeds there are, what advantages they have, and any precautions you need to take. Every type of seed is special for a different breed of birds, so, if you’re looking to subsidize special breeds, or even attract seasonal birds to your feeders, selecting the correct type of seed is essential.

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