11 Best Bird Seeds in 2020 (to Attract Songbirds)

Tori Rhodes
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Historians say the parrot family was the first to fly. They can be found in almost all habitable parts of the earth.

With the size varying from just over an inch to over a foot, they come in more colors than you could imagine. They have super-powered beaks able to cut, tear and even sever.

So, why are birds so fascinating to us? Their feathers, eye-catching colors, and intriguing ways make them creatures we want to attract into our yard.

As a bird lover and owner of several of our feathered friends, I wanted to write a piece that covers what I believe are the best bird seeds to attract some of our most beloved song birds.

NameCategoryProduct
Audubon Park 12261 Black Oil Sunflower Seed Wild Bird FoodBest Overall
Audubon Park 12261 Black Oil Sunflower Seed Wild Bird Food
Kaytee Seed & Mealworm Treat CakeBudget Pick
Kaytee Seed & Mealworm Treat Cake
6 Pack Pine Tree Farms Peanut Butter Suet Cake Wild Bird Food 12 OunceUpgrade Pick
6 Pack Pine Tree Farms Peanut Butter Suet Cake Wild Bird Food 12 Ounce

1. Audubon Park 12261 Black Oil Sunflower Seed Wild Bird Food

Our rating: 9 / 10


Audubon Park 12261 Black Oil Sunflower Seed Wild Bird Food

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Pros:

  • Gluten free
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • High in protein
  • Does not contain peanut shells

Cons:

  • Expensive if ordered in smaller quantities
  • Black oil sunflower seeds are a bit fatty

Sunflower seeds are incredibly popular with birds across the board and there is no shortage of them in this pack.

When it comes to black oil sunflower seeds there is no better brand than Audubon and no better deal than this one … especially when considering the product’s premium quality.

These particular black oil sunflower seeds are the perfect choice for the backyard bird-watcher on a serious budget.

2. Lyric 2647413 Fruit & Nut High Energy Wild Bird Food

Our rating: 8 / 10


Lyric 2647413 Fruit & Nut High Energy Wild Bird Food

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Pros:

  • All natural—packaged with no fillers
  • Great for all sizes of birds
  • A top choice among some bird watchers
  • Reasonably priced
  • Solid, metal-free feeder
  • No waste-seed stays fresh for weeks

The Lyric 2647413 is a great option for someone looking to feed a variety of songbirds without breaking the bank. Most of the recommendations we have for feeders (like hanging them away from windows, minimizing exposure to sunlight and metal) still apply with this product. It comes with a resin tray and 9 numbered ports where the birds can feed.

The mesh ports are quite a bit larger than a standard saucer and hold a good amount of bird food. Swiftlets, finches, and doves seem to be interested in this product. This product would be a good option for someone who wants to attract multiple types of birds around their feeder.

3. 6 Pack Pine Tree Farms Peanut Butter Suet Cake Wild Bird Food 12 Ounce

Our rating: 8 / 10


6 Pack Pine Tree Farms Peanut Butter Suet Cake Wild Bird Food 12 Ounce

Check Price on Amazon

Since 1983, Pine Tree Farms has been setting the standard for quality in wild bird food with suet balls. Their peanut butter suet balls smell so delicious that birds will flock to your feeders to enjoy these tasty treats.

It’s very important to supplement your backyard bird feeding with the right food. Studies show that peanut butter is a favorite with our feathered friends. One warning, however: It’s very addictive. You’ll start off with just one peanut butter suet ball, but before you know it, you’re giving all your birds a regular peanut butter treat.

4. Lyric 2647469 Finch Small Songbird Wild Bird Mix

Our rating: 8 / 10


Lyric 2647469 Finch Small Songbird Wild Bird Mix

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Pros:

  • All seed is pre-mixed, so you don’t need to worry about adding extra food.
  • The seed contains no fillers.
  • The bag is resealable with a zipper which keeps the bag sealed tight.
  • You can even throw a handful on your lawn each day for your neighborhood birds!

Cons:

  • The seeds are more expensive than other kinds.
  • Some birds are finicky, so you may want to buy a variety to see what they prefer.

If you’re looking for a seed that’s perfect for attracting all kinds of birds, including finches and chickadees, then this one is for you. With a rating of 4.6 out of five stars, it’s easy to see why so many love this particular seed. It’s extremely popular for feeding bluebirds and a perfect choice for filling up your thistle feeder.

It’s not just the birds that love the taste. This seed will have you craving more. It’s great quality, safe for the birds, and a true delight for the senses.

5. Kaytee Seed & Mealworm Treat Cake

Our rating: 8 / 10


Kaytee Seed & Mealworm Treat Cake

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Pros:

  • A perfect snack cake
  • Attracts many different birds
  • Contains all the essentials to keep your bird healthy and happy
  • 7.5 oz cake provides up to 100 servings
  • Easy to store and transport

Cons:

  • Seeds can germinate and grow in to unwanted weeds
  • Backyard birds love the cake, but you may find unwanted guests in your yard

With this Kaytee seed and cake mix you'll attract many songbirds, especially throughout the winter months. Close to the ground, you'll attract some of the street dogs and cats (just be careful to pick up the seeds when the street dogs and cats are around so we don't give them a free lunch). The Kaytee seed cake mix has a convenient 7.5 oz cake form to keep it from being messy and to keep your bird healthier. The cake uses all-natural ingredients to keep your bird healthy and happy, containing loads of seeds and the healthiest sort of breakfast – coconut mealworms. The cake can be easily crushed and stuffed inside a small suet feeder or wood block of your choice for an extra-fun treat. Not only can you feed the cake directly to the birds, but they can also be crushed by hand and sprinkled on the ground as a treat for street dogs and cats.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best bird seed for songbirds?

While juniper and niger are both good choices that are recommended for wrens and sparrows, the likeliest food sources for Cedar Waxwings are safflower and nyjer.

Whatever type of bird seed you feed your backyard birds, it’s highly important to provide enough water for them to access whenever they need. Since birds are far more active on hot days and dry days, you might be surprised by how much water they use. Consider placing bird baths near your feeders and be sure to change the water daily to ensure it’s clean.

You can also use a mister to keep your water bowl cooler and more appealing on hot days.

What seed attracts the most birds?

The overall best seed for attracting a wide variety of songbirds is a mixed seed blend because it usually has a broad spectrum of nutrition. Think of all the different songbird species that inhabit your area and buy seeds for those. To attract a variety of feathery friends to your backyard, consider brands like Con-Glomerated, Dura-Soft, and Just Right.

How to Choose the Best Bird Seed:

Type of Seed: There are 4 basic types of seed available in the market: Sunflower, Millet, Cracked Corn, and Oat. Each of these types of seed has a different level of attraction to a broad range of birds.

Storage: Some seeds tend to go stale more quickly than others, so the best options in this regard are the ones that have controlled-deterioration in sealed packaging.

What birds do sunflower seeds attract?

Birders know that sunflower seeds are an easy way to attract birds to the yard. This makes them a good choice for attracting birds of any size including small birds like finches and chickadees.

The birds that sunflower seeds attract are also the birds who eat them most frequently. This makes them an extremely popular choice for big seed feeders. It’s important to note that some of the birds that are drawn to sunflower seeds are also drawn to just about anything else because they prefer to scavenge and eat whatever they can find. So sunflower seeds may attract birds, but they might also attract sparrows and other nuisance birds.

To attract smaller birds like wrens and sparrows, you should experiment with other seed types.

What is the best bird seed to attract cardinals?

Cardinals, or, as they’re also known, Northern Cardinals, are one of the most colorful birds in North America. These feisty birds are easy to attract with the right seed mix. Cardinals are naturally drawn to sunflowers and niger seed. Having a bird feeder with these types of seeds can bring cardinals into your yard. A niger seed feeder has a lot of open surface area to attract them with its bright red color.

Conclusion

Looking for the best bird seed for your backyard? We’ve combined the top bird seed brand choices that have been reviewed and ranked to give you the best bird seed list of 2020.

As we mention in our buying guide, it’s important to consider the food you use for birds in your yard in terms of the options available in terms of health, sustainability, and environmental friendliness. The best bird seed for attracting songbirds is one that provides the right nutrition, while at the same time using eco-friendly growing methods.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Audubon Park 12261 Black Oil Sunflower Seed Wild Bird FoodBest Overall
Audubon Park 12261 Black Oil Sunflower Seed Wild Bird Food
Kaytee Seed & Mealworm Treat CakeBudget Pick
Kaytee Seed & Mealworm Treat Cake
6 Pack Pine Tree Farms Peanut Butter Suet Cake Wild Bird Food 12 OunceUpgrade Pick
6 Pack Pine Tree Farms Peanut Butter Suet Cake Wild Bird Food 12 Ounce