Here are 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, adequate habitat or cover, and the birds’ favorite foods will enhance the attractiveness of your yard. Foods are listed in approximate order of preference.
Millet, cracked corn, wheat, milo, thistle, buckwheat, sunflower seed, baked goods
Plant nectar, small insects, sugar solution
Suet, meat scraps, sunflower hearts and seed, cracked corn, peanuts, fruits
Peanuts, sunflower seed, suet, meat scraps, cracked corn, baked goods
CROWS, MAGPIES, NUTCRACKERS
Meat scraps, suet, cracked corn, peanuts, baked goods, leftovers, dog food
Peanut kernels, sunflower, suet
Suet, suet mixes, sunflower hearts and seed, peanut kernels, peanut butter
Suet, suet mixes, peanut butter, peanut kernels, bread, fruit, millet (wrens)
MOCKINGBIRDS, THRASHERS, CATBIRDS
Halved apples, chopped fruits, baked goods, suet, nutmeats, millet (thrashers), soaked raisins and currants, sunflower hearts
ROBINS, BLUEBIRDS, OTHER THRUSHES
Suet, suet mixes, mealworms, berries, chopped fruits, soaked raisins and currants, nutmeats, and sunflower hearts
Suet, suet mixes, baked goods
Berries, chopped fruits, canned peas, currants, raisins
Suet, suet mixes, fruits, baked goods, sugar solution, chopped nutmeats
Suet, fruits, sugar solution, mealworms, baked goods
CARDINALS, GROSBEAKS, PYRRHULOXIAS
Sunflower seed, safflower seed, cracked corn, millet, fruit
Millet, sunflower seed, cracked corn, peanuts, baked goods, nutmeats
Halved oranges, apples, berries, sugar solution, grape jelly, suet, suet mixes, soaked raisins and currants
Thistle (niger), sunflower hearts, black oil sunflower seed, millet, canary seed, fruits, peanut kernels, suet mixes
Adapted from Natural Gardening for Birds by Julie Zickefoose and the Editors and Writers of Bird Watcher's Digest. Copyright (c) 2001 by Bird Watcher's Digest. Reprinted by permission of Rodale Press.
Adapted from Natural Gardening for Birds by Julie Zickefoose and the Editors and Writers of Bird Watcher's Digest.