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Bird Feeding 101: mixed seed vs. straight seed

If looking at a selection of bird seed has you feeling lost, you’re not alone. With all the different mixes out there, it can be hard to know which is best for your backyard full of picky eaters. With that in mind, we've created a quick guide to help you please your beautiful backyard birds:

Wild bird seed mix

Lyric Cardinal Mix Wild Bird Food sample

When choosing a bird seed mix, it’s important to consider each ingredient. A mix offers a selection of seeds to please multiple birds, so you can attract a wider variety of species. If you’re going to go with a mix, read the ingredients so you’re sure to know what’s going into your birds’ bellies.

You can also find specialty mixes based on the type of bird you are trying to attract, like finches, cardinals and chickadees:

  • Finches like small seed combinations like Nyjer seed, sunflower kernels, golden millet and canola seeds.
  • Cardinals prefer a mix of black oil sunflower seed, safflower seed, black striped sunflower seed and kernels and buckwheat.
  • Chickadees thrive on black oil sunflower seed, shelled peanuts, pecans and pistachios.

Straight seeds

Straight seed is a great option when you’re attempting to attract a specific species. Here are a few options and what they’ll bring to your backyard:

  • Sunflower: Black oil sunflower seeds have a thin shell, so they’re easy to eat and very nutritious for most birds in your backyard.
  • Corn: Jays, doves, turkeys, pheasants and quail all enjoy feasting on shelled corn or cracked corn. But be careful not to let it get wet, as it can be easily contaminated. Offer it in small amounts at a time using tray feeders or as part of mixes in hopper feeders.
  • Peanuts and other nuts: To give your chickadees, nuthatches and woodpeckers a special treat, provide them with peanut pieces and other nuts. Just a reminder not to place shelled nuts directly on the ground. There are special feeders for these types of birds that can accommodate larger peanuts and other nuts or you can serve them on a platform feeder so ground-feeding birds have equal access.

High-quality bird seed brings joyful sights to your backyard. Shop Lyric for all of your bird food needs.

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