About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

What is white proso millet?

Ripe head of proso milletImage via Wikipedia
Ripe head of white proso millet
White proso millet is a small, round, cream colored seed about the size of the head of a pin. A lot of ground-feeding birds like millet. It’s a major ingredient in many wild bird seed mixes and desirable to many species of birds like doves, towhees, quail, bobwhite, tanagers, buntings, juncos and other sparrows.

Most seed eating birds prefer black oil sunflower seeds but cardinals, goldfinches, purple finches and pine siskins, eat white proso millet if their seed of choice is not available.

The following shows the results of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service studies on food preferences of birds:

Sunflower seed:
a) black oil - superior to other foods for most seed eating species
b) black-striped - most species will eat but only Tufted Titmouse and Blue Jays prefer
White Proso Millet - preferred food of juncos, Mourning Doves and sparrows
Red Proso Millet - can be used as a substitute for white proso; however, not as preferred.
Golden (German) Millet - least preferred of the millets
Milo (sorghum) - generally unattractive to all species.
Cracked Corn - eaten about one-third as often as white proso millet.
Safflower seed - considered acceptable to most species except blackbirds and starlings.
Canary seed - less attractive than white proso millet
Rape seed (canola seed) - least attractive feed in the study
Wheat – unattractive to most species
Flax seed - almost completely ignored
Oats - only starlings found hulled oats highly attractive
Peanut pieces - attractive to numerous species
Niger Thistle Seed - not related to weed thistles. Highly used by finches.

We have tons of fresh seed delivered every week to the Wild Birds Unlimited store in East Lansing, MI. Wild Birds Unlimited is dedicated to offering fresh, top-quality seed. Our no-waste bird seed blends are made from 100% edible seed and have been exclusively formulated for the feeding preferences of our local birds. No cereal fillers—just fresh, high-quality seed your birds will love.

Click HERE to see what the most popular seed blend is in mid-Michigan.
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