Poor Choice - Primarily Milo (Cheap filler seed ignored by birds)

Good Choice - Mixture of Millet, Sunflower Chips, Canary and  Nyjer Seeds - all desirable

​​​​​​ Black-Oil Sunflower Seed - Considered the #1 choice to feed and attract the greatest variety of birds to your feeders. Rich in oil, black oil sunflower seeds give birds the energy they need to live.   

If you are going to have one feeder with one type of bird seed, this would be the best choice.

 Black Sunflower Chips or Heartsis the same as above, only without the shell.  Thus, this type leaves no mess since all the bird seed will be  consumed, plus birds that cannot break open the shell of the sunflower seed can easily eat the chips or hearts.


White millet seed is one of the most popular and nutritious bird seeds for many types of birds.    

Nyjer or Thistle Seedis loved by Goldfinches, Purple Finches and even Mourning Doves. 

If you are going to hang two feeders, I would recommend one feeder for  the Black

Oil Sunflower Seeds and one feeder with Nyjer Seed.

Canary Seedis a common birdseed for wild birds as well as small caged birds, such as canaries.  But you should also include other types of seed, as this does not contain all the nutrition birds need.

Safflower Seed is a favorite seed of the Northern Cardinal. House Finches and Mourning Doves will also feed on this type.   According to Duncraft Bird Superstore, this seed is an acquired taste, so many birds will not eat this seed - it's more of a filler seed. Choose other seeds first, such as Black Oil Sunflower Seeds, hearts and chips, white millet, suet, nyjer and peanuts - whole or pieces.

Suet - While not a bird seed, many birds are attracted to suet. Suet is made from beef fat.  You'll find a wide variety of suet types. Suet will be mixed with bird seed, berries, peanut butter and a variety of other things birds like.  This is a good source of fats for all birds.

Peanuts and Peanut pieces are popular with jays, crows, woodpeckers.  They also can  go bad quickly, so  the feeder should be changed often.    

                                                                                  SEEDS TO AVOID

Milo is a dark orange-red-brown circular seed which backyard birds avoid and is used as another cheap filler for bird seed.  You can see the difference between the  smaller red or white millet seeds (good) and the larger Milo seeds (bad) - about the size of a BB.

Striped Sunflower Seeds are harder for birds to crack open than the regular Black Oil Sunflower Seeds.   If you have a choice, always buy the Black Oil Sunflower Seeds.  

Cracked Corn is used as a cheap filler in bird seeds and should be avoided. 

                                                     ​Common Commercial Mixtures of Seeds:  

Perfect Hummingbird Food Recipe:
One part sugar to four parts water - stir until sugar is dissolved.
     Measure examples:
                    One cup of sugar to four cups of water
                    3/4 cup sugar to 3 cups water
                   1/2 cup sugar to 2 cups of water.

Bring solution to a boil to kill bacteria and slow spoilage - allow to cool.

Fill feeders just enough for a day or two of use. Extra solution may be refrigerated if used within one week.

If feeders are cleaned and filled with freshly-made, hot water, sugar solution every day, then it may not be necessary to bring the solution to a boil. If you plan to store solution for two or more days, boiling is a must.

Do not use: raw sugar, agave syrup, brown sugar, molasses, artificial sweeteners, or anything other than white sugar; these cause various problems for hummers. Adding red food-dye coloring is unnecessary. The red on a feeder is enough to attract hummers. DO NOT USE HONEY as this can kill hummingbirds.


Keep all birdseed in a dry location, safe from rodents and other pests in plastic or metal storage bins.   Be sure to regularly clean feeders to reduce the spread of disease amongst bird populations and frequently change seed to prevent it from becoming stale or moldy.  Only put out enough seed for the day.  If you're just starting to feed birds, start with a cup of seed per feeder per day.  As your feeder gets 'discovered', add more seed.  

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------SQUIRRELS:  Discourage squirrels by placing feeders at least 5-feet high and 8-feet away from tree trunks and limbs.  Also use baffles over and under feeders to discourage unwanted creatures and to protect from bad weather.   Provide birds with plenty of water for bathing and drinking, and change the water daily.

ClickHEREor visit  (http://www.allaboutbirds.org/types-of-bird-seed-a-quick-guide) to read more about seeds.  


(Any combination of the eight seeds listed below is suitable)  


Difference between Striped Sunflower Seeds (left) not preferred and

Black Oil Sunflower Seeds (preferred)

Red           White         Milo

Millet        Millet

Difference between Sunflower seeds and Nyjer Seeds (much smaller)

   Whole         Hearts         Chips

  (Black Oil Sunflower Seeds)