Variety is the spice of life and when it comes to birds, having more than one type of seed on the menu will increase your chances of appealing to a broader range of species. Topping the list is of course sunflower seed. If you can only have one type of seed, this will appeal to chickadees, nuthatches, finches, sparrows, jays and others. Black oil sunflower seed is ideal because it has a higher energy content and the shells are easier for birds to remove.
Mixed seed is fine and some quality varieties include a high percentage of sunflower seeds. Avoid mixes that include too much wheat and milo (sorghum) which birds will toss to the ground. Corn may be referred to as a filler but it is actually high in carbohydrates and is good for them when winter sets in. Cut corn is better than cracked corn but unfortunately most commercial mixes only have the cracked variety. Doves, jays and ducks will eat it but it will also attract squirrels and pigeons. The most important thing to remember is to keep feeding. Don’t leave your feeders empty for days or weeks when the birds need it the most.
By Brian Morin
Publisher of Ontario Birding News