Choosing the right bird seed is very important if you want to attract a variety of birds to your garden. Depending on where you live, will have an influence on the type of birds that will visit your garden.

However, bird seed can also play a part in encouraging birds into your garden and the type of seed that is offered will have an impact on the birds that visit. And example of this is the type of seed offered. A singular seed can often have a very targeted impact on the birds that visit or a blended ‘mixed seed’ will often cater for many species of bird.

Different types of bird seed for the garden

However if you are looking to buy specific types of birds seed, here are some important facts to help you decide what type of birdseed would be best for your garden and the habitat within it.


Bird feeding on nuts

What birds do peanuts attract?

Peanuts actually attract a wide variety of birds to your garden. The most common being:

  • Tits
  • Wrens
  • Jays
  • Finches
  • Woodpeckers

How much do peanuts cost?

Anywhere between £2 and £8 per Kg

Do peanuts require a specialist bird feeder?

Due to the size of peanuts, it would be a good idea to buy a feeder that is solely for their use. If you have squirrels in your garden, you might want to think about buying a squirrel proof feeder to ensure that the birds get the benefit of the food. If you are lucky enough not to have to worry about squirrels, a heavy duty feeder will be perfect.

A good quality peanut feeder will generally be made of wire mesh so that birds will need to break up the peanuts in the container so that they are dispensed at the right size.

When should peanuts be fed to birds? 

Whilst peanuts can be used all year round in the garden, they are best suited to winter feeding as they will provide birds with energy when they most need it. If you are feeding peanuts in the spring time, it is best to ensure that they are cut up into very small pieces so that it won’t choke the young.

Ensure that you don’t put too many peanuts out at once as they are prone to going mouldy which will be harmful to birds. Little and often is most certainly key.

Where to buy peanuts

Peanuts can be bought at all good garden centres and also online from amazon. A popular product available from amazon comes in a useful 5 Litre plastic tub to keep them fresh and away from prying animals.


Sunflower Seeds

Bird eating sunflower seeds

What birds do sunflower seeds attract? 

Black sunflower seeds will attract many birds to your back garden. Because the shells or ‘hull’ of these seeds is relatively thin compared to striped sunflower seeds, smaller birds can actually crack it. You can certainly expect some of the following birds to visit your garden:

  • Sparrows
  • Finches
  • Starlings
  • Blackbirds
  • Tits

How much do sunflower seeds cost?

These seeds are extremely affordable. You can expect to pay between £1& £3 per Kg

Do sunflower seeds require a specialist bird feeder?

Generally, any normal seed feeder is going to suffice for sunflower seeds. If you want to invest in a feeder that deters pests from also eating the seed, you may want to consider a squirrel proof bird feeder. 

When should sunflower seeds be fed to birds?

Sunflower seeds are suitable for birds all year round. However, they are full of energy which makes them a great winter food.

Where to buy sunflower seeds?

Sunflower seeds can be bought from all reputable garden centres or online through amazon. Our recommendation would be this 12.75Kg bag from Happy Seed supplied by Amazon.

What to be aware of with sunflower seeds:

If you are using sunflower seed to feed the birds in your garden, it is worth noting that it can get quite messy. Because the birds will break the shells off, they will land on the ground underneath. This may cause a bare patch underneath the feeder if it is above grass. Consider putting an alternative flooring underneath or purchasing sunflower hearts that already have the shells removed.

Nyjer or Thysle seeds

Bird eating Niger Seed

What birds do nyjer seeds attract? 

Nyjer seed is especially good for attracting birds such as finches. You may also find and increase in sparrows too. Because of the size of the seed, you will generally find that this seed attracts smaller birds.

How much does Nyjer seed cost? 

You can expect to pay between £1 and £3 per Kg

Does Nyjer seed require a specialist bird feeder?

Due to Nyjer seed being smaller than other seeds that are fed to birds, there are specific feeders that you can use. A great example of this is this peckish feeder that has been specifically designed for use with nyjer seed.

When should Nyjer seed be fed to birds?

Nyjer seed can be used to feed birds throughout the year.

Where to buy Nyjer seed:

Nyjer seed is available from all good garden centres and pet stores. You can also purchase a 5Kg bag by Happy Beaks directly from Amazon. Be sure not to purchase too much Nyjer seed in one go as it has a tendency to lose some of its natural oils. This will affect the quality of your seed and birds may end up rejecting it.

Sunflower Hearts

Sunflower hearts

What birds do sunflower hearts attract?

Sunflower seeds are extremely nutritious for birds and they are packed full of protein, fat and vitamins. Sunflower hearts are loved by tits in the garden but you will also attract some of the following birds too:

  • Chaffinches
  • Robins
  • Song Thrushes
  • Starlings
  • Goldfinches

How much do sunflower hearts cost?

Sunflower hearts do vary in price. Bulk bags can be picked up for £1 to £3 per Kg. However, if you buy smaller bags of seed, you can expect to pay up to £5 per Kg

Do sunflower hearts require a specialist bird feeder?

There are specific bird feeders available for sunflower hearts. The Gardman feeder is extremely popular amongst those that feed in their garden and holds approximately 1Kg of bird seed. This will ensure that your birds have plenty of food and prevents refilling too often.

Alternatively, if you have a problem with squirrels in your garden, you may want to consider getting a squirrel proof feeder to protect your seed.

When should sunflower hearts be fed to birds?

Sunflower hearts can be fed to birds all year round. Because the husk has already been removed, birds can feed on sunflower hearts quicker than regular sunflower seeds.

Where to buy sunflower hearts?

Sunflower hearts are extremely popular amongst those feeding birds in their garden. The seed can be purchased in most well known garden centres and also online from amazon. Our favourite, that offers good value and quality is the varieties from Birdies that is available in three different sizes.



What birds do mealworms attract?

A large variety of birds enjoy mealworm as part of their diet. They are especially useful at breeding times because they are a natural insect – something that they will feed their young naturally. If feeding during the breeding season, it is a good idea to soak the mealworm so that the shells are a less hard to reduce the risk of choking young birds.

By using mealworm in your garden, you can expect the following birds to feed in your garden:

  • Robins
  • Blue Tits
  • Great Tits
  • Sparrows
  • Song Thrushes
  • Starlings

How much do mealworms cost?

Birds really love mealworms and they will probably favour them over anything else that happens to be on your bird stand. However, out of all the seed on the page, they are by far the most expensive. You can expect to pay somewhere in the region of £4 to £8 per kg. You may want to consider only putting out a certain amount each day or it could get rather expensive.

Do mealworms require a specialist bird feeder?

Mealworms are fed through a special feeder. Generally, a feeder that has an open space or a plate so that the birds can easily get to them. This Gardman feeder is perfect as the right amount of mealworm will be dispensed as the birds consume it. There is also somewhere for the birds to stand whilst they are feeding.

If you are feeding the birds live mealworms, you will want to make sure you have a feeder that they cannot crawl out of.

When should mealworms be fed to birds?

Mealworms can be fed to birds all the year round. However, they are especially helpful in the winter and when birds are feeding their young.

Where to buy mealworms?

Dried mealworms can be bought online from Amazon. If you are looking to get them delivered, we recommend the variety from Happy Beak. They are extremely good quality and other buyers have provided good reviews.

Live mealworms can also be purchased online if you want to give your birds a real treat!

Also check out our tips on where to buy birdseed for your garden.