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Seeds and Nuts - Feeding Preferences

Factors that may help you decide how to best present food to wild birds include the type of seeds and feeders that attract those species that you wish to invite into your yard. Your choices can also help you to deter undesirables. Click the links in the headings for more information about these seed types.

Seed Preferences

Bird Black Oil Sunflower Safflower Millet Peanut Hearts Cracked Corn Nyjer Sunflower Chips Suet Nectar Meal Worms Fruit
Acorn Woodpecker x x x x x x
American Crow x x x x x x x
American Goldfinch x x x
American Robin x x x x
Annas Hummingbird x
Allen's Hummingbird x
Bewick's Wren x x x
Bushtit x x x x x
Band-tailed Pigeon x x x x x
Black-headed Grosbeak x x x x
Brewer's Blackbird x x x x x
California Quail x x x x x
California Towhee x x x x x x
Cedar Waxwing x
Chestnut-backed Chickadee x x x x x x x
Common Raven x x x x x x x
Downy Woodpecker x x x x x x
Golden-crowned Sparrow x x x x x x
Hermit Thrush x x x
Hooded Oriole x x x
House Finch x x x x
House Sparrow x x x x x
Lesser Goldfinch x x x
Mourning Dove x x x x x x x
Northern Bullock's Oriole x x x
Northern Flicker x x x x x x x
Northern Mockingbird x x x x
Nutalls Woodpecker x x x x x x
Oak Titmouse x x x x x x
Oregon Junco x x x x x x x
Pheasant, Wild Turkey x x x x x x
Pine Siskin x x x
Red-breasted Nuthatch x x x x x x
Red-winged Blackbird x x x x x
Ruby-crowned Kinglet x x x x
Rufous Hummingbird x
Scrub Jay x x x x x x x x
Spotted Towhee x x x x
Steller's Jay x x x x x x x x
Varied Thrush x x x x
Western Bluebird x x x x x
White-breasted Nuthatch x x x x x x
White-crowned Sparrow x x x x x x
Yellow-rumped Warbler x x x x x x

There are several types of feeders available and most fit into one of three categories. Click the links in the headings for more information about these feeders.

Feeder Preferences

Bird Tube Feeder Hopper Feeder Platform / Hanging Platform / Ground Suet Cage Nectar Feeder
Acorn Woodpecker x x x x
American Crow x x
American Goldfinch x x x
American Robin x x
Annas Hummingbird x
Allen's Hummingbird x
Bewick's Wren x x x x x
Bushtit x x x x
Band-tailed Pigeon x x x
Black-headed Grosbeak x x x x
Brewer's Blackbird x x x x
California Quail x x
California Towhee x x
Cedar Waxwing x
Chestnut-backed Chickadee x x x x
Common Raven x x
Downy Woodpecker x x x x
Golden-crowned Sparrow x x
Hermit Thrush x x
Hooded Oriole x
House Finch x x x
House Sparrow x x x x
Lesser Goldfinch x x x
Mourning Dove x x x
Northern Bullock's Oriole x
Northern Flicker x x x
Northern Mockingbird x x
Nutalls Woodpecker x x x x
Oak Titmouse x x x x
Oregon Junco x x x x
Pheasant, Wild Turkey x x
Pine Siskin x x x x
Red-breasted Nuthatch x x x x
Red-winged Blackbird x x x x
Ruby-crowned Kinglet x x
Rufous Hummingbird x
Scrub Jay x x x x x
Spotted Towhee x x
Steller's Jay x x x x x
Varied Thrush x x
Western Bluebird x x
White-breasted Nuthatch x x x x
White-crowned Sparrow x x
Yellow-rumped Warbler x x x x
Conversation with a Hawk


One thing we hate to see when we look out the window into the backyard is a brownish streak that zips through and snatches a songbird. The culprit is usually a Cooper’s Hawk or a Sharp-shinned Hawk. And, to make things worse, to watch it eat the bird in front of you. I happened to be out in the yard filling bird baths when this exact thing took place, literally a few feet from me. Luckily, the hawk missed its victim and landed on the bird bath.

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