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Attracting Wild Birds in Winter

Focusing on feeding the birds, could yield months of magnificent bird-watching. Since most birds that stay in colder regions eat seeds, especially when insects become hard to find. So, if you want to keep a variety of species visiting your feeders. Then you’ll want to offer a variety of food. Check out Blue Seal’s selection of seeds specially formulated to entice a wide variety of birds.

Black Oil Sunflower Seeds

  • Black sunflower seeds, sometimes called oil seeds, rather than the grey-and-white-striped sunflower seeds we eat, are higher in oil content, softer shelled, and cheaper. These energy-packed seeds are a favorite of a wide variety of species. Often attracting cardinals, woodpeckers, blue jays, goldfinches, purple finches, chickadees, titmice, and nuthatches. Chickadees in particular are fond of these small, tasty treats.
  • If you only have one feeder available, you should fill it with black oil seeds. Blue Seal’s Ultra Clean Black Oil Sunflower Seed fits the needs of most songbird species. Remember, to put your sunflower seeds in hanging feeders so that they’ll be safe from squirrels and raccoons.

Safflower Seeds

  • Safflower is a white seed, slightly smaller than a black sunflower seed. Chickadees, cardinals, titmice and downy woodpeckers all love to eat it.
  • Sincedue to their slightly bitter nature & unlike sunflower seeds, safflower seeds aren’t attractive to squirrels or bossy birds such as grackles, starlings and blackbirds. So they’re a good choice if you want to invite birds into your backyard without attracting the messy freeloaders. Blue Seal’s Concerto Premium Wild Bird Feed is a great mix if you want to included this seed in your feathered friends’ diet.

Nyjer Seeds

  • Nyjer is a black seed, so tiny and light you could blow away a handful with a gentle breath. It has replaced thistle as the most popular seeds for finches. Goldfinches, purple finches, and house finches all adore nyjer. Besides finches, other species that enjoy nyjer seed are redpolls, pine siskins, juncos, sparrows, chickadees and even woodpeckers.
  • You’ll want to use a hanging feeder tube with tiny holes, designed especially for nyjer. Because tube feeders have perches at several levels, be sure to keep yours filled to the brim. Try Blue Seal’s Birders Secret Wild Finch blend with high levels of small sunflower chips and nyjer seed.

White Millet Seeds

  • Millet is the least expensive bird seed. White millet is a favorite with ground-feeding birds including quails, native sparrows, doves, towhees, juncos, and cardinals.
  • Unfortunately it’s also a favorite with cowbirds and other blackbirds and house sparrows, which are already subsidized by human activities and support unnaturally high populations. When these species are present, it’s wisest to not use millet.
  • Because white millet is so preferred by ground-feeding birds, it’s often scattered on the ground, an excellent practice, so long as no more is set out than birds can eat in a day.


  • Suet is solid fat rendered from beef and venison. It provides concentrated energy to help birds make it through freezing winter nights & days. Suet is like catnip to woodpeckers and nuthatches and is the best way to attract woodpeckers to your feeding operation. You can buy a variety of prepackaged suet cakes from Blue Seal. All of which are infused with high quality seeds and fruits.
  • Always hang suet, so as not to attract mammals and be sure to offer it in a wire basket or suet feeder.

Peanuts And Cracked Corn

  • One way to keep blue jays from intimidating smaller birds is to serve peanuts in a separate feeder. The jays will focus on that feeder and be less aggressive overall. Buy shelled peanuts if you want less mess in your yard.
  • Cracked corn is considered the fast food of bird feeding since it’s high in calories and rich in both protein and fiber. It’s appeals mostly to sparrows, juncos, mourning doves & other ground-feeding species.
  • Be careful or use these forms of food sparingly, as they could cause problems by inviting pigeons, squirrels or other problem or unwanted mammals into your yard. Serve peanuts or cracked corn in a low platform tray feeders & always in fairly small amounts at a time, never any more then can be consumed in a day as these feeds can harbor moisture and become a host to bacteria.

Water Is The Best Attractor

  • Fresh water is an essential element in every bird’s diet. That’s why it’s important to always have water available near your feeding stations. Especially during the winter when other water sources are frozen solid. Sometimes birds can suffer more from a lack of water than food.
  • An electric birdbath heater is a great investment and Blue Seal carries a wide variety. Most can keep a standard birdbath ice-free even when the mercury drops below zero. You’ll be amazed at the variety of bird species that show up when you offer free drinks.

When starting up a feeding program, be patient. It may take several weeks before the birds discover your feeders. While you wait, be sure to keep the feeders filled and that your feed is securely stored in a pest-proof manner. Eventually, the birds will come especially after that first storm hits. Lots of colorful, feathered fun to look forward to on a cold winter day.

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