By Krawdaddy Jones

Posted: September 23, 2022

If you’re looking to attract birds and other critters into your yard, throwing up a seed feeder is the best way to do it! This way, you can control the type of seed which will in turn control which types of birds and critters come your way. There will of course always be the occasional straggler, a scavenger who will eat any kind of seed, but birds are usually a little more particular. Here’s a few different seed types so you can learn more about what they attract and how to use them!


Amongst the two different kinds of sunflower (black oil and striped) there’s plenty of opportunities for your birdy buddies to chow down. The black oil seeds have thinner shells, which makes them easier for any seed-eating bird to dig in. Winter birds love them, because the high fat content keeps them full for longer. The striped seeds are harder for birds to crack open, because the shell is much thicker. This is a handy trick if you have a particular species you’re trying to ween off of your supply.

Switching to striped sunflower seeds will make it harder for them to crack open! However, beware of the seed reminisce left behind if you’re in an apartment, or don’t want it in your yard. If you’re looking to avoid squirrels, this may not be the seed for you. Squirrels love them, and the shells aren’t much of a problem to them. This seed can be put into many different types of feeders and work perfectly well. 



This seed is perfect for ground-feeders. It’s popular with quails, sparrows, doves, towhees, juncos and even cardinals. They’re a favorite too some invasive species too, unfortunately. This seed is a starchy grain that is super accessible, and even easy to grow and harvest! They’re jam packed full of protein, vitamins, calcium, fiber, and fat. This makes a great seed for the little birds to munch on.

Since it’s a ground seed, all you have to do is spread it out on the grounds and the birds will find it! Many different kinds of birds love millet, from house finches to yellow-throated warblers. Quails and pheasants in particular love this seed, so it might be a good way to snag some dinner while you’re contributing to the ecosystem! 



This is a good seed to look for if you’re hoping not to attract some particularly pesky critters. Birds that will eat this little seed are Cardinals, jays, chickadees, nuthatches, grosbeaks and more. Pesky critters that won’t be indulging in this particular seed are squirrels, grackles, and starlings!

This is amazing, because these species are overruling and can totally dominate your feeder if they have the desire to. Safflower seeds are jam packed with fat, protein, and carbohydrates. This makes them amazing for the species that do eat them!! The waste with them is super manageable, as it’s just a tiny white shell that will blow away or decompose quickly. 



Belonging to the beautiful African yellow daisy, this seed is high in oil and a great source of nutrients for many species of birds. There are plenty of critters that indulge in a bit of Thistle seed, from California quails to mourning doves.

The list is long, and Nyjer typically attracts small beaked birds, because the seeds are smaller. Their tiny beaks are useful, because they can break into these tiny seeds much more easily. These seeds can be thrown on the ground with a bird mix, or put in a feeder! Larger birds will forage through the seeds to find anything that may have been spilled. 


These are just a few options of some great seeds that will attract beautiful birds to your yard!! Whether it’s through a feeder, or on the ground, your feathered friends will thank you greatly for your generosity!! And, now that you know which seeds are good for which bird types, you’ll be all the more prepared for your special guests! Check out Montana Grant’s piece on Sunflower Power to learn more about these special plants and seeds! Until next time, I’m Krawdaddy Jones. Happy feeding! 

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