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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
Talking with the Moon


On a recent warm night, I went out on the back porch to look for an owl hooting close by. I couldn’t really find it, but I did enjoy sitting there listening to another owl answering in the distance. "What’s so interesting?" a male voice said. I jumped a foot in the air and looked around. Not seeing anyone I quickly headed for the back door. "Whoa, whoa, come back here! Just curious is all," said the voice.

I looked everywhere and still couldn’t find where the sound was coming from. "Up here," the voice said

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East Bay Times Article


Attracting birds and bees to our yards and gardens is simple, if we provide what they like and need.

Joanie Smith, owner of East Bay Nature in Walnut Creek and Dublin, says there are five essential elements for success — water, food, cover, nesting and safety.

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