WILD BIRD SEED

Our wild bird seed selection:

Goldfinches and Cardinal feeding on our Supreme Blend in the bird garden. Photo by Karl Berlin

Goldfinches and Cardinal feeding on our Supreme Blend in the bird garden. Photo by Karl Berlin

Supreme Blend – No Waste Bird Seed
We use this in our tube feeder that sits above a squirrel-proofing tray/baffle. This mixture of black oil sunflower, hulled sunflower chips and safflower brings in the usual chickadees, titmice and cardinals, but also attracts birds that can’t open a sunflower shell, like Carolina Wrens.

Peanut Splits – First thing to go!
Jody and I ration these, placing one or two handfuls each morning on the giant seed tray/squirrel baffle. Almost immediately, Brown Thrashers, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Tufted Titmice, Blue Jays and others fly in and out devouring the peanuts. Do not put out large quantities of peanuts splits because they will spoil if they get wet.

Black Oil Sunflower Seed
If you offer only one seed, make it black oil sunflower. This seed is nutritious and has a high oil content.

Native Nurseries Custom Mix
However, if you feed only sunflower seed, you will miss out on some interesting migrants, especially Chipping Sparrows and White-throated Sparrows. They love medium cracked corn and white proso millet, preferring to feed on a platform type feeder. Jody and I feed Native Nurseries Custom Mix on a large flat rock in our yard. This mix contains black oil sunflower, white proso millet and medium cracked corn. Morning Dove and Rufous-sided Towhees also prefer millet and corn. Every so often you may also be blessed with the company of an Indigo Bunting feeding on the white millet.

No Mess Mix and Sunflower Chips
If you are feeding on a balcony or terrace and do not want sunflower shells and seed to drop below the feeder, feed sunflower chips or No Mess Mix (a mixture of sunflower chips, nuts and fruit). These should be fed in small amounts, and do not let them get wet since the chips have no protective hull and the nuts and fruit will spoil. If squirrels are a problem, use a squirrel-proof feeder.

Safflower
If you have a feeder that cannot be squirrel-proofed, try feeding safflower seed. Squirrels, as well as grackles and Blue Jays, do not like it.

Thistle (Nyjer)
Although goldfinch can arrive for the winter in the Tallahassee area as early as October, we typically do not see them at our feeders until after Christmas. The timing depends on the availability of natural food (especially sweetgum seed). Once they have eaten their way through that, however, you’ll get flocks of them to your thistle feeder or sock.

Specialties:

Native Nurseries Homemade Suet Cakes
There are many fancy suet cakes on the market, but none of them are as well suited or as preferred as the ones made fresh (sometimes almost daily) here at Native Nurseries. We use the recipe of the late Betty Komarek of Birdsong Nature Center – simply melted beef fat combined with lots of course cornmeal. We buy our cornmeal from a local source, Bradley’s Country Store. This is a nutritious blend and highly attractive to a wide variety of birds – orioles, warblers, wrens, woodpeckers and many others seed.

Live Mealworms
Many, many birds (including bluebirds in the right habitat) will visit your feeder for live mealworms.

Click here for a more complete list of which Tallahassee birds eat which seed.