Quick Reference to the Foods Birds Prefer

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.

PIGEONS, DOVES
Millet, cracked corn, wheat, milo, thistle, buckwheat, sunflower seed, baked goods

HUMMINGBIRDS
Plant nectar, small insects, sugar solution

WOODPECKERS
Suet, meat scraps, sunflower hearts and seed, cracked corn, peanuts, fruits

JAYS
Peanuts, sunflower seed, suet, meat scraps, cracked corn, baked goods

CROWS, MAGPIES, NUTCRACKERS
Meat scraps, suet, cracked corn, peanuts, baked goods, leftovers, dog food

TITMICE, CHICKADEES
Peanut kernels, sunflower, suet

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 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

KINGLETS
Suet, suet mixes, baked goods

WAXWINGS
Berries, chopped fruits, canned peas, currants, raisins

WARBLERS
Suet, suet mixes, fruits, baked goods, sugar solution, chopped nutmeats

TANAGERS
Suet, fruits, sugar solution, mealworms, baked goods

CARDINALS, GROSBEAKS, PYRRHULOXIAS
Sunflower seed, safflower seed, cracked corn, millet, fruit

TOWHEES, JUNCOS
Millet, sunflower seed, cracked corn, peanuts, baked goods, nutmeats

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

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.

13 comments

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W.4 years ago

interesting

John B.
John B.4 years ago

Annie, thanks for the great info.

peggy p.
peggy p.4 years ago

i needed this!!! thx

Jennifer C.
Past Member 5 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Robert O.
Robert O.5 years ago

Thanks Annie.

Eco Warriors SOS Rainfore

oooo almost forgot, but you got to be mega extreamly careful. get a coconut, drain the juice. use the coconut itself to feed birds.

you can get a very safe surface, an put coconut inside transparent bag. place them on surface and strike firmly but very carefully on the coconut. it should split in half cleanly. Make sure nothing...i mean nothing that belongs to a living being, eg your foot or anyone elses bits in the way. also make sure what you place the coconut on is safe. Like a pile of old clean towels on a choping board will do. Keep your hands, feet and face well away from the axe and choping surface. and please dont blame me if you return to care2 with one less foot.

USE THE AXE EXTREMELY CAREFULLY, THATS IF YOU CHOOSE TO USE ONE AT ALL. Any how, if you do, you will have a good clean coconut choped in half for the birds.

Eco Warriors SOS Rainfore

you could get some of the bird seed and grow them too, and the birds go party time on them. they love them.

Eco Warriors SOS Rainfore

if you grow sun flowers too, they look great and the birds love them dearly.

Eco Warriors SOS Rainfore

last few days, donated 600 for animal feed, and nothing much left for myself. turns out, if I had known better, I could have done so using simple veg fat and sees, that cost lots less. so learn this, look up ideas like this great postie.