Attract Birds with Foods that Mimic Natural Food Sources
Birds' beaks, feet, dexterity and other physical characteristics allow them to feed on specific natural foods, such as seeds, nuts, fruits/berries, insects, flower nectar and sap. For this reason, the bird food in our feeders should mimic birds’ natural food sources. Here are some examples:
Sunflower and safflower seeds mimic tree seeds, including pine, hemlock, spruce, maple, elm, sweetgum and more than 60 native sunflower species. Place these in hanging tube or hopper style feeders.
Millet mimics small, native flower and weed seeds, such as crabgrass, chickweed, knotweed and foxtail. Place millet in ground feeders for our sparrows, doves, and quail.
Nyjer® (thistle) mimics weedy flowers with small seeds such as native thistles, goldenrod and ragweed. These are primarily eaten by our goldfinches and pine siskins in a special nyger feeder.
Peanuts, in or out of the shell, mimic many species of acorns and pine nuts. Many birds love peanuts including jays, woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches, and titmouse.
Mealworms mimic the wild insect larvae typically consumed by numerous insect eating bird species.