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Let's Fill Your Feeders

When it comes to filling your feeders, attracting the types of visitors you want depends on selecting the right seed and feed. Here’s a helpful quick reference guide to identifying what to choose. See below for in-depth descriptions of each.

Black Oil Sunflower

The gold standard for wild bird seed blends, black oil sunflower can be fed straight, mixed in with other seeds, with shells or without shells. High protein, fat and fiber content along with natural oils and a thin shell make this the perfect nutritious energy-packed source that birds love.

Striped Sunflower

Much like black oil sunflower, a high protein, fat, fiber and natural oil content make this a perfect seed for wild birds. Striped sunflower shells are tougher and thicker than black oil, which makes it harder for smaller birds to crack and eat.

Sunflower Chips/Hearts

Sunflower chips or hearts are the de-shelled version of sunflower seeds. These are typically found in “no-waste” blends, because birds do not have to crack the shells to get to the meat. All of the nutritional benefit with no mess makes these extremely popular in high-end blends for the seasoned wild bird feeding enthusiast.


Fun fact: this seed is not derived from the same plant we refer to as thistle. Harvested from Guizotia abyssinica, an herbaceous annual native to Africa, 'thistle' seed is the perfect seed to attract finches and other small birds, most notably the goldfinch. Specialized feeders with openings small enough to keep seed in are required and readily available. A truly exceptional nutritional profile of high fat/protein makes this the ideal seed for finches needing fuel for the winter season.


Rapidly growing in popularity, safflower seed is becoming more commonly found in mixes and fed straight to wild birds because larger “nuisance” birds like grackles, blackbirds, European starlings, and even squirrels typically avoid it. Most other varieties of songbirds love safflower and it is a healthy, nutritious option at any feeder.

White Millet

While millet can get a bad reputation as a “filler” seed in bird seed blends, smaller ground-feeding birds like house sparrows and Mourning doves love white millet seed. Keep an eye on your feeder when using blends with white millet – you can see larger birds typically eat around the white millet seed and it can build up. Knock it off onto the ground where those smaller, more timid birds will thank you!

Whole/Cracked Corn

The ideal option for those who want to feed wild birds and other wildlife, whole and cracked corn is the perfect all-around option for those who enjoy any kind of feeder activity – not just birds! Care must be taken to ensure corn doesn’t get wet or stay moist for long periods of time to inhibit growth of aflatoxins. Fed as a straight ingredient or in a blend, corn has been a staple of bird seed mixes from the beginning, and will continue to be a great option for bird feeders of all abilities.

Peanuts in Shell

Another favorite of large birds like blue jays, peanuts in shell are an excellent way to encourage varied species to your feeders. High energy, calorie filled option for winter feeding, but loved year-round. Fill a ground feeder with these peanuts in shell, and watch birds, squirrels, chipmunks and more come to visit. And no, these are not fit for human consumption unless labeled so!

Peanut Hearts/Pickouts

Much like benefits of sunflower chips/hearts, these are all the goodness of peanuts in shell without the work. Better suited for gravity feeders with large ports, birds of all sizes including woodpeckers love peanuts with none of the work to get them out of shell.

Berries/Fruits (assorted)

Many high-end blends include berries/fruits like dried cherries, cranberries, raisins, and more for a colorful, flavor filled option for wild bird feeders. High sugar content provides instant energy for birds that rely on constant energy to keep moving. Found in many no-waste blends for the ultra-premium seed feeder.

Dried Mealworms/Soldier Fly Larvae

Rapidly growing in popularity, dried mealworms and black soldier fly larvae are absolutely bursting with high energy content and protein levels. Black soldier fly larvae is less common than dried mealworms, but is superior nutritionally and is quickly gaining traction with experienced bird feeders. Fed straight ingredient or as part of an ultra-premium blend, these are among the most high-quality options you can provide your backyard birds.

When it comes to feeding and attracting wild birds and wildlife, variety is key. Backyard Seeds brand seed blends are the best of both worlds when it comes to price and selection, with over 30 options of blends and straight ingredients to choose from. Found exclusively at CountryMax Stores, these blends and ingredients have been handpicked to attract birds in western and central New York State while also providing every day value at incredible prices.

Attracts: Cardinals, Chickadees, Doves, Finches, Grosbeaks, Jays, Juncos, Nuthatches, Sparrows, Titmice, Woodpeckers and more!

Ingredients: White Millet, Cracked Corn, Black Oil Sunflower Seed, Mineral Oil.

Our most popular, this blend has been bringing backyard birds to our customers' yards for over 30 years. A balanced blend of nutritious seeds with black oil sunflower to attract highly desirable cardinals and other colorful birds while offering smaller birds a great selection as well. There’s a reason this blend has stood the test of time, and will continue to be a top seller for many years to come!

Attracts: Cardinals, Chickadees, Doves, Finches, Grosbeaks, Jays, Juncos, Nuthatches, Sparrows, Titmice, Woodpeckers and more!

Ingredients: Black Oil Sunflower Seed, White Millet, Cracked Corn, Striped Sunflower Seed, Mineral Oil

Our most popular premium blend of seeds with an extra boost of up to 20% more black oil seeds than our Songbird blend. Attract the most popular backyard birds with a premium blend of nutritious seeds that won't break the bank!

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