Best Bird Seed to Attract birds in your Backyard

If you’re interested in attracting a variety of birds to your backyard, one of the most effective ways to do so is by offering them a variety of bird seeds. However, not all bird seeds are created equal, and selecting the right types can make a significant difference in the diversity of bird species you attract. 

Let’s find out all about the best bird seeds to attract birds to your backyard and provide tips for creating an inviting bird-friendly environment.

Explore a List of Best Bird Seed to Attract Birds

Before diving into specific types of bird seeds, it’s essential to understand the basics of bird seed and the different needs of various bird species. Bird seeds primarily fall into two categories: seeds and grains. Seeds are typically preferred by smaller birds, while grains are favored by larger species like doves and pigeons.

Black Oil Sunflower Seeds

Let’s start with the MVP of the birdseed world: sunflower seeds. These black beauties are packed with protein and fat, making them irresistible to a wide variety of birds, from cardinals and chickadees to jays and finches. You can find them whole, shelled, or in chips, each catering to different beak sizes and preferences.

One of the most popular and versatile bird seeds is black oil sunflower seeds. These seeds are packed with essential nutrients and have a high oil content, making them a favorite among a wide range of birds.

Birds such as cardinals, chickadees, finches, and sparrows are particularly fond of black oil sunflower seeds. Invest in a quality bird feeder filled with these seeds to attract a diverse group of backyard birds.

Nyjer (Thistle) Seed

Nyjer seed, also known as thistle seed, is a tiny, oil-rich seed loved by finches, including American goldfinches and house finches. These seeds are ideal for attracting these colorful little birds. To offer Nyjer seed to your backyard visitors, consider using a specialized finch feeder with small feeding ports to prevent waste.

Safflower Seeds

Safflower seeds are another excellent choice for attracting birds like cardinals, chickadees, and grosbeaks. The advantage of safflower seeds is that they are less appealing to squirrels than other seeds, helping to deter these pesky creatures from raiding your bird feeder.

Peanuts and Peanut Butter

Peanuts and peanut butter can be a real treat for birds like woodpeckers, blue jays, and nuthatches. You can offer whole peanuts in a mesh feeder or smear peanut butter on tree bark or a specialized peanut butter feeder designed for birds.

best seeds to attract parrot

Mixed Seed Blends

If you want to attract a wide variety of birds, consider using a mixed seed blend that includes a combination of sunflower seeds, millet, cracked corn, and other grains. However, be cautious of cheap, filler-laden mixes, as birds may pick through and create waste.

Instead of relying on just one seed, consider creating your own custom blend. This allows you to cater to a wider variety of birds and reduce waste. A good rule of thumb is to start with a base of sunflower seeds and add smaller amounts of other seeds based on the types of birds you’d like to attract.

Fruit and Nut Mixes

Some birds are attracted to fruit and nut mixes that contain dried fruits like raisins and cranberries, as well as nuts like almonds and walnuts. This can be an excellent addition to your feeding options, appealing to species like orioles and bluebirds.

Must Create a Bird-Friendly Environment

In addition to selecting the right bird seed, creating a bird-friendly environment can further enhance your backyard birdwatching experience:

  • Provide Fresh Water: Birds need water for drinking and bathing. A birdbath or a small water feature can attract more birds to your yard.
  • Offer Shelter: Trees, shrubs, and birdhouses provide birds with shelter and nesting sites. Planting native vegetation can also attract insects, which are essential food sources for many birds.
  • Keep It Clean: Regularly clean your bird feeders and birdbaths to prevent the spread of diseases among the birds.
  • Be Patient: It may take some time for birds to discover your feeding station. Be patient and consistent with your efforts, and you’ll gradually see more feathered visitors.

By following these tips and choosing the right seeds, you’ll be well on your way to creating a backyard haven that’s teeming with feathered life. Remember, birdwatching is a delightful hobby that connects you with nature and brings joy to your day. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!


Choosing the best bird seed to attract birds to your backyard is a rewarding endeavor that can bring the joy of birdwatching right to your doorstep. By offering a variety of high-quality seeds and creating a welcoming environment, you can attract a diverse array of bird species, making your backyard a haven for both bird enthusiasts and the feathered friends they adore.

Happy birdwatching!


What bird seeds attract the most birds?

Black oil sunflower seeds attract a wide variety of birds, making them a top choice.

Can you mix bird seed?

Yes, mixing different bird seeds can attract a broader range of bird species.

Is wheat OK for birds?

Wheat is generally acceptable for birds, but it’s not a preferred choice for many species compared to seeds like sunflower or safflower.

Are any seeds bad for birds?

Some seeds with tough hulls, like unshelled peanuts, can be hard for smaller birds to eat. Moldy or spoiled seeds should always be avoided.

What is the best homemade bird seed?

A simple homemade mix can include black oil sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, and some cracked corn. However, commercial mixes often offer a more balanced diet for birds.

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