The harsh winter weather can create a challenge for our backyard birds, both due to the difficulty in finding an available food source as well as the increased nutritional needs to support their bodies throughout the colder weather.
As a bird lover, you may be looking for the best way to support your backyard birds in winter by stocking up your bird feeders. One important point to consider is the type of food that you are providing and how beneficial it’s going to be nutritionally. Foods that are high in fat, protein, and oil content will provide the extra energy that they need.
To help you get started, we have put together this guide with a few of our favorite foods for the colder winter days. This includes traditional bird seeds as well as some other bird food alternatives to accommodate a wider variety of birds.
Your bird feeder is going to be a popular place this winter with the help of these high-quality wild bird food options!
A popular bird seed choice due to the fact that it will be enjoyed by nearly every bird, black-oil sunflower seed is a sure investment. The seeds feature a thin shell that is easy to crack, making it easier for your feathered friends to enjoy their food regardless of their size.
Available in easy-to-open, no mess packaging, this rendered beef suet contains cracked corn, black-oil sunflower seeds and processed grain by-products. It’s a great high-energy option that is highly attractive to a wide variety of birds, especially during the challenging winter months.
This 15lb bag of de-shelled, dry-roasted, and unsalted peanut pieces is 100% edible for your backyard friends, meaning that there is no unnecessary waste. Packed with protein and nutritious fats, this popular bird food will attract house finches, bluebirds, woodpeckers, jays, chickadees, and more.
Nyjer seed, or thistle seed, is a favorite option for those that are looking to attract smaller songbirds like finches to their feeder. This resealable 10lb bag of seed includes 150,000 seeds per pound, providing you with enough bird seed to last several feeder refills.
Many birds, including cardinals, chickadees, grosbeaks, and other colorful songbirds enjoy a variety of foods including fruits. This high-energy mix of fruits, nuts, and standard bird seed is sure to appeal to a variety of different bird species, making your feeder a popular destination.
While not technically including ‘seed’, mealworms area high-protein food that is preferred by blue birds and many other species of wild bird. These mealworms are 100% natural with no GMOs, preservatives or additives, ensuring that it brings nothing but good nutrition to your feathered friends.
One of the easiest ways to attract a variety of different birds to a single feeder is to use a high-quality mix of popular birdseeds like this blend from Wagner’s. This Deluxe Blend is formulated to attract both perching and ground birds, making it suitable for hanging feeders and low-mounted tray feeders.
Cracked corn is a popular bird feed option for ground-feeders including doves, pigeons, cardinals, and sparrows. It is both a high-energy and high-protein option, making it a great choice to help sustain your backyard birds through the cold winter months.
Choosing the Best Foods for Winter Bird Feeding
Each of the above products is specifically designed with a selection of different bird species in mind. For this reason, you need to know what birds you are hoping to attract before you do your shopping and stock your winter bird feeders. This includes foods that are more targeted in their design, like Nyjer or thistle seeds for smaller songbirds, as well as birdseed blends that appeal to a wide variety of birds.
While each of the products that we have featured is a great option in its own right, there are a couple that really stood out for their versatility during the winter months.
Alfacom Black Oil Sunflower Seeds are a highly popular choice for winter bird feeding simply because they appeal to many common winter birds here in North America. They are a better choice for your feeder than standard striped sunflower seeds for several reasons. The seeds themselves are meatier with thinner shells. This means that the birds can get more food with less effort, conserving their calories. Black oil seeds also contain a higher oil content than the striped variety, meaning that they will provide your feathered friends with the additional energy that they need to survive the coldest months.
If you live in an area where ground feeders such as doves, pigeons, cardinals, and sparrows are common, we highly recommend purchasing the Morning Song Cracked Corn Backyard Wildlife Food. This highly nutritious food can be provided in a variety of feeder types, however, to target ground-feeding birds, you will want to install a tray feeder at a lower height. In addition to feeding birds, this can also be used to provide food for other wildlife including rabbits and chipmunks. Just be sure to monitor your backyard feeders to ensure that you are keeping the feeders clean and well-stocked for your many visitors.
Fill your bird feeders and settle in by your back window to enjoy birdwatching from the comforts of home. Spring will be upon us before you know it! We recommend you also find out why you should feed your backyard birds, and discover how you can create your own DIY bird feeder!