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.
- Millet mimics small, native flower and weed seeds, such as crabgrass, chickweed, knotweed and foxtail.
- Nyjer® (thistle) mimics weedy flowers with small seeds such as native thistles, goldenrod and ragweed.
- Peanuts, in or out of the shell, mimic many species of acorns and pine nuts.
- Mealworms mimic the wild insect larvae typically consumed by numerous bird species.