It's Only Natural

Attract Birds with Foods that Mimic Natural Food Sources

Birds' beaks, feet, dexterity and other physical characteristics allow them to feed on specific natural foods, such as seeds, nuts, fruits/berries, insects, flower nectar and sap. For this reason, the bird food in our feeders should mimic birds’ natural food sources. Here are some examples:

  • Sunflower and safflower seeds mimic tree seeds, including pine, hemlock, spruce, maple, elm, sweetgum and more than 60 native sunflower species.
  • Millet mimics small, native flower and weed seeds, such as crabgrass, chickweed, knotweed and foxtail.
  • Nyjer® (thistle) mimics weedy flowers with small seeds such as native thistles, goldenrod and ragweed.
  • Peanuts, in or out of the shell, mimic many species of acorns and pine nuts.
  • Mealworms mimic the wild insect larvae typically consumed by numerous bird species.

Another great way to mimic birds' natural food sources is to plant those natural sources in your own backyard! Planting native species will provide not only the vegetative nutrition birds need, but it will bolster the native insect population that is vital to the survival of nestlings and their parents. 

By providing both food that mimics natural resources in an easy to forage location AND the natural food resources themselves, you can help the birds in your yard thrive!