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How to choose a seed blend

Aug 28, 2018



How to Choose a Seed Blend (for higher personal entertainment!)

Wild Center specialty stores carry many varieties of birdseed: black-oil sunflower, peanuts, Nyjer, millet and others. They also carry seed blends with varying characteristics which enhance their entertainment value for you.

Hopper_Suet_1We believe that our customers mostly feeds birds because you enjoy seeing them, and that you prefer feeding small and colorful birds (e.g. chickadees, cardinals, goldfinches, titmice and woodpeckers) over grackles and squirrels.  

One seed type which gets lots of attention these days is safflower, a small, whitish, plump seed with very little shell. If you are frustrated with European Starlings, Common Grackles or squirrels at your feeders, safflower (check out that picture with a male cardinal dining on safflower) has the potential to make you happier. They don’t like safflower much and tend to stay away from it, while titmice, chickadees and cardinals usually learn to like it.

A high-quality birdseed blend should contain black-oil sunflower or hulled sunflower (as one the first ingredients listed). Other quality ingredients are black-stripe sunflower, white proso millet or some forms of nutmeat, such as peanut (pieces). Always read the ingredients list before buying a seed blend and avoid those that don’t list some form of oil sunflower as the primary ingredient. You should also avoid blends from other outlets which contain filler products such as milo, wheat, oats, rice, flax, canary seed or “mixed grain products.” These seeds only add weight and actually diminish the blend’s attractiveness. They may decrease the cost per pound of seed, but they will increase your cost per bird visit so patronize your local Wild bird Center for best seeds, blends and advice.