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, October 24, 2013

Choosing the best bird seed

I am experimenting with making my own bird seed mix rather than continuing with purchasing commercial products which have a considerable amount of undesirable fillers, e.g., red milo, wheat and grit that only end up as waste. My formula will consist of black/striped sunflower seeds, safflower and white proso millet. Do you have any other suggestions? ~ East Lansing, MI

Food is essential to provide birds with the energy, stamina and nutrition to endure the elements. An ample supply of fresh high-calorie foods is crucial to a bird's survival.

I too used to make my own blends before we opened our Wild Birds Unlimited store in East Lansing, MI. I knew there was no point in buying a seed blend where half the bag was full of seeds that the birds in our area didn’t eat. 

Wild Birds Unlimited has regionally formulated seed blends to provide the most nutritious food for your birds. The first ingredient in our top 4 seed blends is sunflower seed. Oil Sunflower seed is the favorite of most of the backyard seed eating birds and I always like it to be the first ingredient in my bird seed blend.

Choice, Supreme, and Deluxe all have oil sunflower, striped sunflower, safflower, and sunflower chips. Deluxe also has white proso millet to attract the ground feeding birds like the juncos, sparrows, and doves.

Choice is the Wild Birds Unlimited - East Lansing’s second most popular blend. It has peanut pieces in the mix. Now when I tell that to most people they say, “oh, no that will attract squirrels”, but the peanuts in the mix are for the birds. Lots of bug eating birds like the woodpeckers, wrens, chickadees, and nuthatches love to pick out the peanuts. Peanuts have a high calorie/ounce ratio due to its high fat and protein content. Lots of interesting birds love peanuts.

We get our seed in almost every week and for the East Lansing Wild Birds Unlimited store and I order the most of the No-Mess Blend by far. We have to bring in so many bags of no-mess that it is sometimes hard to find a place to store the extra tonnage on the floor.

Our unique No-Mess Blend features seeds that have had their shells removed so only the meat of the seed is left. No hulls on the seeds make for a tidier feeding area, since there's no debris on the ground to clean up.

The first ingredient in the No-Mess blend is sunflower seed without the hull, then peanut pieces, and finally a little millet without the hull. Pound for pound, our No-Mess Blend offers the best value because you do not pay for the shells. The birds eat everything.

Each of our blends is mixed to attract the birds that live in our area. We do not include cheap filler grains like oats, wheat and milo that decrease the price per pound of a mix but aren't eaten by the birds in Michigan. Therefore, there is no wasted seed. Wild Birds Unlimited blends actually end up costing less to use while attracting more of the birds that you want to watch.

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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

The better mixes you sell have large pieces that don't work in my current squirrel proof feeders. The striped sunflower and the halved peanuts clog the smaller openings. It takes a while for me to sift - with a kitchen sifter - all the mix to get the striped sunflower out. With the no-mess - I can only use it in the trays or open feeders. Just thought you might like to know. A mix without big pieces would benefit me.

Wild Birds Unlimited Mid-Michigan said...

You should try the no-mess again. I have asked our supplier to dice the peanuts so that it now the NEW Wild Birds Unlimited No-mess Blend at the East Lansing, MI store flows easier in tube feeders. Sarah

Anonymous said...

Hello,
I have just moved into a house a little west of downtown Chicago. I am next to a park and community garden so there is a lot urban wildlife around but I was wondering if there was a seed blend would you recommend for the city birds that I am more likely to encounter? We have seen doves, robins, and a cardinal so far...

Cheers,
Rebekah

Wild Birds Unlimited Mid-Michigan said...

Sunflower seed is the favorite of most of the backyard seed eating birds and I always like it to be the first ingredient in my bird seed blend. And lots of bug eating birds like the woodpeckers, wrens, chickadees, and nuthatches love to pick out the peanuts.

No-mess blend is the only blend I use. Sunflower seed and peanuts without the shell attracts all the feeder birds and leaves no mess.

If you have too many squirrels, straight safflower & straight nyjer are the way to go.