To attract the most diverse variety of wild birds, you’ll want to use a wholesome, grain-based blend. A classic blend of cracked corn, white millet, and black oil sunflower seeds is an effective choice for attracting finches, chickadees, nuthatches, grosbeaks, and titmice.
Black oil sunflower seed
A wide variety of wild birds enjoy black oil sunflower seed, and it’s an excellent ingredient to use in your wild bird feed economy mix. However, this high-quality seed can be expensive, so if you can afford it, consider choosing a mix that has a high percentage of black oil sunflower seed. A good example of this is the Walmart Harvest Songbird mix, which contains 42 percent black oil sunflower seed and 14 percent milo. It’s slightly cheaper than Pennington’s Classic blend.
Many commercial mixes contain high amounts of milo, a filler that can harbor fungus and bacteria. This is why it’s important to read the labels of your bird feed mixture to avoid purchasing it. You’ll also want to steer clear of mixes containing red seeds, since these will attract cowbirds.
Sunflower seeds are available in three different varieties, each with its own unique benefits. While each variety will be eaten by your birds, black oil sunflower seeds are a better choice than the others. These seeds are smaller and have higher oil content, and their shells are thinner, making them easier to crack and digest.
White millet is a small, round seed that attracts a variety of birds. It is best offered in a hopper or tray feeder. This type of seed is difficult for birds to kick out. In Georgia, it is easy to find black oil sunflower seeds, but it is harder to find white millet seed, which can be purchased only in bird-watching supply stores. Most people buy a blend of seed that contains white millet and black oil sunflower seeds. Choosing a higher quality mix will cost more but it is worth it.
A commercial seed blend for birds will include millet, cracked corn, and sunflower seeds. It is important to choose a richer mix because it will have less filler waste and will attract more birds. Millet is also important for ground-feeding birds, as they may be unable to access feeders with hanging feeders.
Cracked corn is a great food option for wild birds. Not only is it inexpensive, but many species of birds will eat it. Common ground doves and other game birds are known to love cracked corn. Other birds that love cracked corn include Red-winged and Yellow-headed blackbirds. It is also enjoyed by Dark-eyed Juncos, Song and Chipping Sparrows. In cities, it is also popular with domestic pigeons.
Cracked corn can be produced in two different ways. It can be dried on the cob or ground in a grain grinder. The process can be very simple. You can also hammer cracked corn to break it down. However, be aware that uncracked corn will attract only larger birds.
Cracked corn is also an important component of an economy mix. The grit helps the birds digest the food they eat. Cracked corn and white millet are both good choices for backyard birds. They attract many kinds of birds, and the mix can be placed in different types of feeders.
While many backyard bird lovers feed their flocks with milo, it’s actually not very nutritious for birds and is often wasted. Additionally, milo attracts unwanted species such as rats and squirrels. If you want to keep your flock free of pests, you should avoid milo and substitute other seeds and nuts.
In many inexpensive commercial bird seed mixes, milo makes up 40-50% of the mix. However, in the right areas, milo can be a great addition to your bird feeders. Red milo seed is a common ingredient and is less expensive than the cheaper varieties. It contains similar nutrients to corn, which is one of the most common and most expensive feed grains.
This mix is ideal for backyard bird feeders, including outdoor tube feeders. It contains over 20 percent sunflower seeds, cracked corn, white millet, and milo. In addition, it also contains peanuts, dried cranberries, and safflower. The berry and nut mixture is especially good for backyard tube feeders.