top of page

Wild Bird Care

Backyard Birds and their Favorite Foods

  • American Goldfinch: Niger thistle seeds, broken sunflower hearts, oil-type sunflower seeds.

  • Northern Cardinal: Sunflower seeds of all types, safflower, cracked corn, millet, other seeds, unsalted nutmeats, raisins.

  • Black-capped Chickadee: Oil-type sunflower seeds, cracked unsalted nutmeats, safflower, suet.

  • Dark-eyed Junco: Millet, finely cracked corn, oil-type sunflower seed, unsalted nutmeats.

  • Mourning Dove: Oil-type sunflower seeds, millet, safflower, cracked corn, wheat, other seeds.

  • Native Sparrows: Red or white proso millet, oil-type sunflower seeds, cracked corn, some safflower.

  • Woodpeckers: Suet, unsalted nutmeats, sunflower seeds, cracked corn.

  • Nuthatches: Sunflower seeds, nuts and suet

  • Blue Jays: Peanuts, corn and seeds.


Seeds and their Value to Birds

  • Sunflower – High in protein and fats

  • Black Sunflower – High in oil.

  • Sunflower Kernel – High in energy.

  • Cracked Corn – Carbohydrates, grit to grind seeds.

  • Safflower – High in oils, but only specific birds will eat it.

  • Peanut Kernels – High in fat and calories

  • Thistle (Nyger) -  High in oil.


Suet is especially attractive to insect-eaters such as woodpeckers, chickadees, and nuthatches and is a good winter energy source. Feed your birds suet during cool weather and winter months. Discontinue use when high temperatures reach 70 degrees.

McKinley Garden Center

bottom of page