Top considerations when buying bird food

As most backyard birders can attest, not all bird food is made equal. We get questions all the time about what to look for when buying quality bird seed. And our top recommendation is to always do your research and look for the best ingredients possible for your specific birds.

What makes quality bird food?

Ever find piles of seed underneath your feeder? It’s a good sign that your food may contain undesirable seeds. Like small children who pick through their dinner, birds too will fish through their food flicking away the not-so-good, or non-preferable ingredients.

Overall, good bird food mixtures should be made up of edible seeds that provide valuable nutrients to the birds visiting your yard. Beyond that, each and every bird has its own preferences for seed, and the most important thing any birder can do is cater to those preferences.

What are the benefits of using quality seed?

It’s clear that stocking your feeder with quality ingredients is better for both attracting birds and keeping them healthy, but did you know it’s also good for your yard? Wasted seed either underneath or left inside your feeder can become a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus, creating an unhealthy environment for your birds and even your pets. These seeds can also attract unwanted and even dangerous rodents and pests.

Additionally, when you use good ingredients it pays off. Premium seed may cost a little more at purchase, but your birds will be able to enjoy more of it. This helps birders keep feeders filled longer and actually saves on trips to the store.

What are some nutritious ingredients to look out for?

Although each bird has its own taste preferences, some key quality ingredients to look for include:

Nyjer is a type of oilseed known for being an excellent energy source for backyard birds such as songbirds and finches. It’s also popular among backyard birders for its ability to not sprout if spilled, which is why it’s a key ingredient in our Gold Standard products. Nyjer is a good year-round treat, as it helps re-growth during spring and fall feather molting, and provides good fats for birds surviving colder winter temperatures.

Safflower seeds offer great nutritional value as they are high in protein, fat and fiber, providing immense nutrition to a wide variety of backyard birds. It is for this reason that they tend to be a hot commodity among many favoured backyard birds including chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, grosbeaks and cardinals, to name a few.

Sunflower Chips:
Sunflower chips are well known for attracting more species of birds than any other type of seed in your backyard. Some of the most common being goldfinches, purple and house finches, chickadees, titmice, cardinals, grosbeaks, and even woodpeckers. The most important aspect of the chip is that it’s out of the shell. This allows the birds to consume without wasting energy, and keeps shells out of lawns and gardens.

The number one takeaway when buying bird food is to read the ingredients and check out the seeds in the bag. High quality bird food will always have more of these hearty, nutritious ingredients that will keep your backyard, and the birds, nice and full.

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