According to an article by John Hannan, an Audubon’s Director of Development in Conn., even though it’s tempting to buy the cheapest bag of birdseed, much of it ends up going to waste because birds don’t like cheap birdseed.
Here’s what Hannan said:
Low-cost bags of mixed seeds use more filler, just as in hot dogs and chopped meat. Doves eat white millet and turkeys eat cracked corn, but all birds usually ignore red millet, milo oats and wheat. They instinctively know what is best for them, and peck out the filler. If you buy cheaper brands, expect to see half of it on the ground, feeding voles and mice. Some cheap discount brands might even contain stones.
As I already reported, black-oil sunflower seed prices are already extremely high, so it’s understandable why you’d want to get the cheap stuff, but like Hannan said, the contents are not appealing to most birds.
Black-oil sunflower seeds are still the best choice for bird feeders because they are high in calories, which provides birds with energy and fat reserves for long migrations or cold winters. Nyger seed or thistle is an alternative to the pricey seed, but it appeals more to birds with smaller beaks, such as goldfinches and chickadees.
If you’re finding it difficult to keep up with the growing expenses of refilling your feeders, just remember that feeding birds leads to a “happy and generous feeling” that keeps your connected with nature.