Do Wild Birds Have A Favourite Bird Food?
Have you noticed some bird food disappears quickly from your garden and others are ignored? Is it possible wild birds have a favourite food? Read on to find out.
Favourite Bird Food
The simple answer is many common species of birds do indeed have favourite foods but, many birds don’t feed exclusively on one food source. Many common species eat a wide variety of foods, usually depending on availability.
Blue tits love caterpillars and use them to feed their young too. However, the window for caterpillar gathering is short so blue tits will also eat many different types of food.
Another example is goldfinches and teasel seeds. These colourful birds love teasels and towards the end of summer can be seen delicately balancing on teasel stems to extract seeds. Again, this is a short window of opportunity and once the seeds have gone, goldfinches will go back to eating whatever else is available.
The same principles apply to bird food you provide in your gardens – birds will eat whatever is put out but can often be seen sifting through seed mixes to find their preferred seeds.
Birds are a little bit like humans and other animals in that they will choose appealing foods first, but these foods might not necessarily be the best foods for them. Plus, eating a diet consisting of one food source isn’t healthy. Just like us, birds need variety and not necessarily just what they prefer.
Popular Bird Feed Types
Just one look at our online shop and you will see that bird food comes in a wide variety of types. There are tens of different foods you can choose from to feed wild birds in your garden.
There is one bird food in particular that all birds seem to favour above other foods and will almost always take first from your feeders and that is black sunflower seeds.
They’re extremely healthy too – black sunflower seeds have a very high oil content and are often described as being more ‘meatier’ than regular striped sunflower seeds. They’re excellent for birds trying to build up fat reserves and help keep feathers in good condition.
Despite birds having favourite foods, when you’re providing food, it is always best practice, according to numerous experts, to feed birds with a variety of foods. Just like us, birds need access to varied foods to avoid overeating one type.
This can be done easily by buying mixed bird seed – just ensure you look out for a quality mix that doesn’t contain any filler ingredients such as rice.