Best bird food to attract colorful birds

Attracting a variety of colorful birds to your backyard can be a delightful and rewarding experience. The key to drawing these beautiful creatures is providing the right type of food.

Let’s explore some of the best bird foods that are sure to attract a kaleidoscope of colors to your garden.

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are a top choice for attracting a wide range of birds. Rich in oil and high in calories, they provide the essential energy birds need. Black oil sunflower seeds, with their thin shells, are especially easy for smaller birds to crack open. They attract finches, cardinals, blue jays, and even woodpeckers.

Sunflower seeds can be offered in both hopper and platform feeders, making them accessible to birds of various sizes. As they are a favorite among many species, these seeds are perfect for bird enthusiasts looking to attract a diverse group of colorful visitors.

Safflower Seeds

Safflower seeds are another excellent option for bird feeding. While not as universally appealing as sunflower seeds, they have a distinct advantage: many squirrels and some common bird species find them less palatable. This makes safflower seeds ideal for attracting specific birds like cardinals, chickadees, and doves, while deterring unwanted guests.

These seeds are best served in tube or hopper feeders. Their slightly bitter taste tends to attract birds that appreciate this unique flavor, making your backyard a haven for certain colorful species.

Niger Seeds

Niger seeds, also known as thistle seeds, are particularly favored by finches and siskins. These tiny, oil-rich seeds are high in calories, making them an excellent energy source. They’re especially good for attracting goldfinches, which are known for their vibrant yellow plumage.

Due to their small size, niger seeds require a special type of feeder, often a tube feeder with small holes. This prevents the seeds from spilling out while allowing the small-beaked birds easy access.


Mealworms are a protein-rich food source that is irresistible to insect-eating birds. They are particularly effective in attracting bluebirds, robins, and woodpeckers. Offering live or dried mealworms can provide a vital source of nutrition, especially during the breeding season when birds require more protein.

You can serve mealworms in a shallow dish or a specialized mealworm feeder. This will help keep the mealworms contained while providing an exciting treat for visiting birds.


Cracked corn is a versatile and affordable bird food that attracts a variety of ground-feeding birds. Species such as sparrows, blackbirds, and ducks are particularly fond of it. It’s also a favorite among more colorful birds like cardinals and blue jays.

Corn can be scattered on the ground or offered in a tray feeder. It’s important to only provide as much as can be consumed in a day or two, as wet or moldy corn can be harmful to birds.


Peanuts, either shelled or unshelled, are a nutritious and energy-rich food source for birds. They attract a variety of species, including titmice, nuthatches, and woodpeckers. Colorful birds like blue jays are also particularly fond of peanuts.

Offering peanuts in a mesh feeder or a specialized peanut feeder can provide hours of entertainment as birds work to extract them. Ensure that the peanuts are unsalted and not roasted, as processed peanuts can be harmful to birds.

attract birds in your backyard with blueberries


Blueberries are an excellent natural food source to attract birds. Their sweet taste and nutritional value make them a hit with a variety of bird species. Fruit-eating birds like orioles, tanagers, and even some warblers enjoy these berries.

You can offer blueberries in a dish feeder or simply scatter them on the ground or a platform feeder. Watching birds enjoy these nutritious fruits can be a delightful experience for any birdwatcher.

Best Food to Attract Colorful Birds- Table Guide

Bird Species Best Foods to Attract Them
Cardinals Sunflower Seeds (especially black oil and safflower seeds), Cracked Corn, Peanuts, Berries, Suet
Finches Nyjer (Thistle) Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Millet, Dandelion Seeds, Small Grains
Woodpeckers Suet, Sunflower Seeds, Peanuts, Fruit (apples, oranges), Mealworms
Blue Jays Peanuts (in-shell or shelled), Sunflower Seeds, Corn, Suet, Acorns
Bluebirds Mealworms, Berries (especially blueberries), Suet, Small Fruits, Insect larvae


Each of these bird species has unique preferences, so offering a variety of these foods can help attract a diverse array of birds to your backyard. Remember to provide fresh water and maintain clean feeding stations to keep the birds healthy and coming back.


Attracting colorful birds to your backyard is a rewarding experience, enhanced by offering the right type of food. Different bird species have specific dietary preferences, so providing a variety of food options is key. Sunflower seeds appeal to a wide range of birds, while nyjer seeds are perfect for finches, and suet attracts woodpeckers and blue jays. Mealworms are a favorite for insect-eating birds like bluebirds. By creating a diverse and nutritious menu in your bird feeders, you can enjoy the beauty and diversity of nature right in your backyard. Remember, a clean and safe feeding environment is just as important as the food you offer. 


What’s the best color for a bird feeder?

Bright colors like red or yellow can attract birds, but natural, earthy tones blend better with the environment and are less likely to startle birds.

What is best to put in bird feeder?

Sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, niger seeds, mealworms, peanuts, and mixed birdseed are great options for bird feeders to attract a variety of birds.

Where is the best place to put bird feeders?

Place bird feeders near natural shelter like trees or shrubs, but at a safe distance from potential predator hiding spots. Ensure they are visible and away from busy, noisy areas.

What food attracts the most birds?

Sunflower seeds, especially black oil sunflower seeds, are popular and attract the most variety of birds.

What is birds’ favorite food?

Different species have different preferences, but universally favored foods include sunflower seeds, peanuts, and suet. For nectar feeders, hummingbirds are especially attracted to sugar water.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *