- Black-oil Sunflower seed- This is a feast for any kind of songbird that visits your feeder. It is a favorite to these birds, because the shell is thinner than other kinds of sunflower seeds, and the actual seed itself is bigger.
- Peanuts- De-shelled, dry roasted and unsalted. Peanut processors are now using their broken peanuts as bird seed mix to help these birds, and to cut back on their waste.
- Suet- This is essentially fat (you can even get it from the butcher if you can’t find it in a store). While that might not sound appetising to us, fat is really important in a bird’s winter diet and acts as a great source of energy.
- Nyjer/thistle seed- Including these seeds into your mix will bring the finches to your yard!
- Safflower- Believed to be a favorite of the beautiful Cardinal and disliked by squirrels . Make sure to not leave it out in wet weather, if it becomes too soggy it is inedible.
- Cracked corn- Make sure it is cracked corn (broken into much smaller pieces), whole corn kernels are difficult for birds to digest. Cracked corn is a favorite of Jays, Blackbirds, Sparrows, and many others. This may also bring in some turkeys, members of the deer family, and of course squirrels. Some use cracked corn in a separate location, from the bird feeders, to attract the squirrels away from the feeders.
- Mealworms- The Traveling Natural History Program Department feeds mealworms to their reptiles, bats and duck. Small songbirds love them too! They are a great source of protein. These are best fed in a ceramic dish (slippery sides so they can’t crawl out), or mixed with seeds and fruit, and then frozen.
- Fruit- This is an important part of a bird’s diet, but impossible for them to find in the wild during the winter. Grapes, slices of citrus fruit, apples, banana slices, and melon rinds will be chowed down by the most feeder birds. You can even feed them raisins, just make sure to chop them up and soak them in warm water first, to soften them up.
Winter is the toughest time of the year. Temperatures reach below zero, and snow starts to pile higher and higher. If we think winter is tough for us, imagine what it’s like for all of the wild animals that remain active all year. The majority of songbird species migrate to warmer climate, but some of the hardiest of little birds remain in the northeast looking for food. Here is a great mix to make the winter a little easier for those resilient birds..