What Foods for What Birds?

Bird seed is the hamburger of the bird-feeding world. The picture above shows Nyjer/Thistle seed, peanuts, millet, and cracked corn.
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This chart provides the general food preferences for the most common feeder birds of North America. Although there are no guaranteed methods for attracting certain birds to your feeders, the presence of water, adaquate habitat or cover, and the birds' preferred foods will enhance the attractiveness of your yard. Foods are listed in approximate order of preference.

Quail, pheasants Cracked corn, millet, wheat, milo
Pigeons, doves Millet, cracked corn, wheat, milo, niger, buckwheat, sunflower, baked goods
Roadrunner Meat scraps, hamburger, suet
Hummingbirds Plant nectar, small insects, sugar solution
Woodpeckers Suet, meat scraps, sunflower hearts/seed, cracked corn, peanuts, fruits, sugar solution
Jays Peanuts, sunflower, suet, meat scraps, cracked corn, baked goods
Crows, magpies, and nutcracker Meat scraps, suet, cracked corn, peanuts, baked goods, leftovers, dog food
Titmice, chickadees Peanut kernels, sunflower, suet, peanut butter
Nuthatches Suet, suet mixes, sunflower hearts and seed, peanut kernels, peanut butter
Wrens, creepers Suet, suet mixes, peanut butter, peanut kernels, bread, fruit, millet (wrens)
Mockingbirds, thrashers, catbirds Halved apple, chopped fruits, baked goods, suet, nutmeats, millet (thrashers), soaked raisins, currants, sunflower hearts
Robins, bluebirds, other thrushes Suet, suet mixes, mealworms, berries, baked goods, chopped fruits, soaked raisins, currants, nutmeats, sunflower hearts
Kinglets Suet, suet mixes, baked goods
Waxwings Berries, chopped fruits, canned peas, currants, raisins
Warblers Suet, suet mixes, fruit, baked goods, sugar solution, chopped nutmeats
Tanagers Suet, fruits, sugar solution, mealworms, baked goods
Cardinals, grosbeaks, pyrrhuloxias (a type of cardinal) Sunflower, safflower, cracked corn, millet, fruit
Towhees, juncos Millet, sunflower, cracked corn, peanuts, baked goods, nutmeats
Sparrows, buntings Millet, sunflower hearts, black-oil sunflower, cracked corn, baked goods
Blackbirds, starlings Cracked corn, milo, wheat, table scraps, baked goods, suet
Orioles Halved oranges, apples, berries, sugar solution, grape jelly, suet, suet mixes, soaked raisins, and currants
Finches, siskins Thistle (niger), sunflower hearts, black-oil sunflower seed, millet, canary seed, fruits, peanut kernels, suet mixes

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  • I have the same situation. The feeder is attached to the middle of a large picture window that goes ceiling to floor w/ no ledge or sill for animals to climb or balance. Yet every morning all the sunflower seeds have been cracked open and hulls left. Any ideas what it is?
    by Liza Fox, Sun, 15 Nov 2020
  • I have a bird feeder that sticks to my window and I've been hearing noises against the window at night right now its going on. But whatever it is it is aware of me. And when I get to window it leaves.I can't imagine a squirrel or mouse or possom being able to get at it. ...So as I was reading this article im to assume no bird eats at night. Or no birds will eat at night. Why is that? Then im also thinking of a sinereo that could a lost confused bird eat at night. This eating thing is watching meI turn out the light go there noise dissappears..Thank you.
    by Nosferatu, Thu, 05 Nov 2020
  • I have metal baffles (cones) on my pole for my bird feeders. Something is still tempting them at night. What else could it be? Deer???
    by Ella Spencer Connolly, Thu, 27 Aug 2020
  • I found where he lives, then I keep him up all day by singing at full volume! Hah, that'll show the little sucker!
    by Pike Juan, Tue, 11 Aug 2020
  • I never knew feeding birds could be so confusing. I love watching the birds in my backyard even though I don't get a very big variety.
    by JustMyOpinion, Sun, 26 Jul 2020