Setting a baseline for bird feed experimentation

When you’re building up an individual mix of bird feed there are plenty of things to bear in mind. The size of the seed affects the birds that can eat it, and certain seeds will appeal to certain birds which you may wish to either attract or deter. Then you have to bear in mind the nutritional requirements of different species, which can change based on the time of year you’re putting it out. If you attract the wrong types of bird you may end up with a surplus of uneaten seed, a result to be avoided. With such complexity available to enthusiasts, it can be useful to have some ‘baseline’ seeds that will perform well in any mix.

For this we recommend black oil sunflower seeds. They have thin shells, allowing any bird to get into the nutrients inside. They are oily, containing a good amount of fat and fibre, providing the energy and weight all birds need to sustain themselves, especially during the winter months.

Remember not to substitute with other varieties of sunflower seed if you want a good baseline for all birds. Striped sunflower seeds are larger, with less oil and a harder shell, making them generally inappropriate for smaller birds, serving to tailor a feeder towards larger ones instead.

Be sure to continue experimenting with seed types at every opportunity, since there are plenty of nutritional combos to alter who visits your garden and what they gain from it. Just remember that universally popular seeds like the black oil sunflower provide excellent bases to any meal.