Birding Hub is reader-supported. When you purchase through one of our links we may earn an affiliate commission (at no cost to you).

10 Best Bird Seed Choices for Your Backyard in 2024

bird seed featured image

When trying to attract more birds to their garden, most people put a lot of thought into the type of bird feeder they use.


What about the type of bird seed you put in that feeder?

There are all kinds of options available when it comes to bird seed, including no mess and no waste options. With foraging opportunities continually diminishing, now is the right time to provide high-quality wild bird seed to keep local species thriving.

So, if you want the best bird seed, make sure you check out all these bird seed brands and types to find the best wild bird food for you. 

Our go-to option is Wagner’s Greatest Variety Blend.

Top 10 Best Bird Seeds Reviewed

Product Details
1. Wagner’s Greatest Variety Blend Wild Bird Food

Best Quality Mix

  • Perfect For Most Feeders
  • Contains Seeds That Deter Squirrels
  • High Percentage Of Sunflower Seeds
  • Attracts Wide Variety Of Birds
Check Price on ChewyCheck Price on Amazon
2. Kaytee Waste Free Bird Seed Blend


  • Almost No-Waste
  • Contains Calcium
  • 100% Consumable
  • Suitable For Other Animals
Check Price on Amazon
3. Lyric Fruit and Nut High Energy Wild Bird Food

High-Energy Mix

  • Attracts Diverse Bird Species
  • Contains Fruits & Nuts
  • 12 Premium Ingredients
  • Pricey, But Worthy
Check Price on ChewyCheck Price on Amazon
4. Wagner’s Black Oil Sunflower Seed Wild Bird Food

100% Black Oil Sunflower Seed

  • Best For Hoppers & Tray Feeders
  • Perfect For Smaller Birds
  • Minimal Mess
  • Doesn't Keep Well For Long
Check Price on ChewyCheck Price on Amazon
5. Wagner’s Nyjer Seed Wild Bird Food

100% Nyjer Seed

  • Best For Finch Feeders
  • High-Energy Content
  • Reasonably Priced
  • Resealable Velcro Press Pack
Check Price on ChewyCheck Price on Amazon
6. Lyric Peanut Pieces Wild Bird Food

100% Peanut Pieces

  • Best For Hoppers, Trays & Mesh Feeders
  • Contains Proteins & Fats
  • No Waste, No Mess
  • Stay-Fresh Pack
Check Price on ChewyCheck Price on Amazon
7. Wagner’s Cracked Corn Wild Bird Food

100% Cracked Corn

  • Best For Hoppers & Tray Feeders
  • Best For Ground Feeding Birds
  • Can Be Mixed With Other Seeds
  • Can Be Fed To Squirrels
Check Price on ChewyCheck Price on Amazon
8. Kaytee Mealworm Food Pouch

Great For Baby Birds

  • Oven Dried
  • High Protein Food Source
  • Minimal Mess
  • Attracts Rare Birds
Check Price on ChewyCheck Price on Amazon
9. Wildlife Sciences High Energy Suet Cake 10 Pack

Compacted Mix

  • Melt-Resistant
  • High Energy Ingredients
  • Easy Open Pack
  • Keep In A Cool, Dry Place
Check Price on Amazon
10. Wagner’s Cardinal Blend Wild Bird Food

High Oil Content

  • Contains Seeds That Deter Squirrels
  • Packed In Reusable Bucket
  • Not totally Consumable
  • Can Be Pricey
Check Price on Amazon

1. Wagner’s 62059 Greatest Variety Blend Wild Bird Food

Wagner's 62059 Greatest Variety Blend Wild Bird Food, 16-Pound Bag

Coming in a 6- or 16-pound bag for a reasonable price, Wagner’s 62059 bird feed was created to attract a variety of birds including finches, cardinals, and sparrows, which is ideal for any bird watcher.

The gourmet blend contains 11 different ingredients and 40% sunflower which is one of the best seeds available for attracting birds. It also contains black oil sunflower seeds which are the best seed to have in a wild bird food mix. 

Here’s why:

Sunflower is a popular bird seed among many species but this variety blend contains a range of other seeds to attract as many different species as possible.

It’s the right consistency for tubes, hoppers, and platform bird feeders so no matter what type of bird feeder you have you won’t lose any of this quality bird feed through the gaps.

This has to be the best overall bird food because of the range of bird seed types available and no waste consistency which keeps the majority of your bird food securely in your feeder.

Just make sure you place it close to a natural shelter like trees or shrubs because this quality mix will attract more than just birds. 

Luckily, it also contains safflower and nyjer seed which have been known to deter squirrels.

Most people would agree that this is one of the best wild bird seeds around, the only problem customers have had is that it can attract all sorts of creepy crawlies if not stored correctly so make sure you keep it on a shelf in a cool, dry location.


  • Great variety of seed types
  • Attracts a range of birds
  • High percentage of sunflower seeds
  • Contains seeds which deter squirrels


  • Attracts insects if not stored correctly

This is a high-quality mix of bird seeds that has been developed to attract as many bird species as possible by one of the best bird seed brands around. You can’t go wrong with this blend.


2. Kaytee Waste Free Bird Seed Blend

Kaytee Waste Free Bird Seed Blend

This Kaytee Waste Free Bird Seed Blend in 5lb bag is a high-quality mix of concentrated food and is the best no waste bird seed as it is almost 100% consumable. The premium mix contains hulled sunflower seeds, shelled peanuts, calcium and other ingredients.

Kaytee is another one of the best bird feed brands that put a lot of thought and research into how to produce the perfect bird food. Another good thing about concentrated food is you won’t need to refill your bird feeder as often. 


For me, the best place to buy bird seed has got to be with recognized brands like this who take no waste seriously.

No bird seed can be completely waste-free but this one comes pretty close. The added calcium helps to keep birds healthy all year round so you can do your bit to ensure the survival of your favorite birds.

If you don’t mind other animals visiting your garden, it is also suitable for squirrels, rabbits, and deer. Just remember to keep your bird feeder in a sheltered location if you would rather preserve your expensive bird feed exclusively for the birds.


  • Almost 100% no waste
  • Concentrated
  • Mix of bird seeds
  • Contains calcium


  • Expensive

This is one of the best no waste bird seeds around at the moment as its almost 100% consumable. Just don’t be surprised if this tasty mix starts to attract other animals too!


3. Lyric 2647417 Fruit and Nut High Energy Wild Bird Food

Lyric 2647417 Fruit & Nut High Energy Wild Bird Food, 20 lb

The Lyric 2647417 fruit and nut mix comes in a 5lb or giant 20lb bag which is a great option if you want to get all your bird food in one go. It contains a high-energy wild bird mix featuring fruits, seeds and shell-free nuts. There are 12 all-natural premium ingredients in total so even though this is an expensive bird seed, you certainly get your money’s worth in variety.

The blend is designed to attract birds like chickadees, robins, orioles, blue jays, and titmice among others. If variety in your garden is what you are looking for, this is the best bird feed for attracting diverse bird species thanks to the high-energy ingredients.

It also promises to be less waste and contain no fillers. If you want to give your backyard visitors a real treat, this gourmet blend will make your bird feeders quite popular. What’s more, this bird seed brand is known for harnessing finely selected bird seed types as well as fruits and nuts. This is definitely one of the best wild bird seeds.  

The only issue we can see is with the size of some of the fruits and nuts. This could be dangerous for smaller birds so if you often get chickadees and blue tits frequenting your garden, a concentrated bird feed might be the safer option.


  • High-energy ingredients
  • Attracts a variety of birds
  • No fillers and less waste


  • Expensive

Fruit and nut pieces might be too big for smaller birds.

If you are looking to attract a range of larger birds, this high-energy mix of 12 quality ingredients is the best bird seed for getting a bit of variety into your garden. Remember to keep an eye on those smaller birds though.


4. Wagner’s 76027 Black Oil Sunflower Seed Wild Bird Food

Wagner's 76027 Black Oil Sunflower Seed Wild Bird Food, 25-Pound Bag

Another option from one of the best bird seed brands is the Wagner's 76027 black oil sunflower bird seed which is ideal for attracting a wide variety of birds especially woodpeckers, chickadees, and cardinals.

Compared to other mixes of different bird seeds, fruit and nuts, this bird food is 100% black oil sunflower seed which is a very popular bird seed. The thin-shelled sunflower is perfect for smaller birds who won’t struggle to break it up. It is also high-energy and will keep your backyard visitors happy and healthy.

If you have a hopper or tray feeder, this bird seed works very well and is easy to access for a range of birds. The birds will find it easy to pick up, leaving minimal mess. The only issue we can see is that it doesn’t keep as well over time so don’t buy too much in one go unless you know your birdies will get through it all.


  • 100% black oil sunflower seed
  • Attracts a range of birds
  • Leaves minimal mess


  • Doesn’t keep well

This is a great option for attracting a range of birds with one of their favorite types of bird seed. Make sure that you store it properly and use it up quickly to avoid seeing it go off.


5. Wagner’s 62050 Nyjer Seed Wild Bird Food

Wagner's 62050 Nyjer Seed Wild Bird Food, 10-Pound Bag

At a very reasonable price and coming in several size options from a 5 lb to a 20lb bag, Wagner’s 62050 Nyjer Seed is the best seed for attracting finches, such as the American goldfinch, house finch, and purple finch.

It contains 150,000 seeds per pound which is a pretty impressive density of ingredients. For such small seeds, they are also relatively low mess as the high energy ingredients are entirely consumed by finches and other small birds. Although very attractive to these birds, the small holes of finch feeders, which are the perfect bird feeder to contain these seeds, can be discouraging for larger birds.

This bird food is also easy to store with a Velcro press-lock which should keep it fresh.  Nyjer seed is also great for repelling squirrels so you can save your bird seed for the finches. You can trust this recognized brand to pack only high-quality bird seeds. The only issue with this type of bird seed is it won’t attract the same variety of birds as some other mixes.


  • High-density of bird seed
  • Quality Nyjer seed
  • Easy to store
  • Repels squirrels


  • Doesn’t attract a variety of birds

If you are looking to get rid of squirrels and attract finches, this is the best bird seed for you. Made from quality Nyjer seed, you’ll attract plenty of finches but maybe not so many other species of bird.


6. Lyric 2647463 Peanut Pieces Wild Bird Food

Lyric 2647463 Peanut Pieces Wild Bird Food, 15 lb

Lyric 2647463 Peanut pieces are a real treat so if you’re having trouble tempting birds into your garden with regular bird seeds, give this one a try. It is a little more expensive but is also 100% edible so you won’t waste any money.

This is a great wild bird seed because it provides protein and fat nutrients for a range of wild birds. Titmice, nuthatches, and chickadees will especially appreciate it but you can also expect to attract bluebirds, house finches, grosbeaks, and jays.

Another great thing about this no waste bird feed is it is also no mess.

If you want to position your bird feeder on your porch but don’t want to be left with lots of debris, this is a great option.

The stay-fresh technology also keeps the bird food fresh for longer so you can get a decent sized bag without it going moldy.

Lyric is a well-known bird seed brand that provides high-quality seeds and this product is no exception. The only issue is they are a little expensive compared to other bird seeds and they might not be the ideal size for smaller birds. 


  • Attracts a range of larger birds
  • Provides protein and fat nutrients
  • Stay fresh technology
  • No waste, no mess


  • Expensive
  • Nuts might be too large

This is a special treat and a great way to attract birds to a garden that doesn’t normally see a lot of them. You will have to pay a bit more for this one though.


7. Wagner’s 18542 Cracked Corn Wild Bird Food

Wagner's 18542 Cracked Corn Wild Bird Food, 10-Pound Bag

If you are looking to buy from a trusted bird seed brand but don’t want to spend so much, a good option is Wagner’s 18542 cracked corn wild bird food.

Cracked corn is a great bird food for ground-feeding birds and other wildlife like squirrels. It can be mixed with other seeds to attract a range of birds but works reasonably well by itself.

This needs to be placed somewhere where animals and birds can feed beneath it.

You’ll see a range of ground-dwelling birds including ducks, grouse, quails and doves as well as squirrels, rabbits and other wildlife.

Another way to use this cracked corn is to feed squirrels and other wildlife separately to keep them away from your more expensive bird seeds. You can put it on the floor at the other end of your garden to distract larger birds and wildlife.

A few customers have found that the bag can be partly filled with dust so you might not get a full bag of high-quality bird feed but for a reasonable price you can’t complain. It can also go bad quite quickly so make sure you store it in a cool dry place.


  • Reasonable price
  • Great for attracting ground-dwelling birds and other wildlife
  • Can be mixed with other seeds to attract more birds


  • Not as high quality as other bird foods
  • Can go moldy
  • Contains dust

This is the best wild bird food for anyone shopping on a budget but it doesn’t provide as many high-quality ingredients as the pricier options in this review.


8. Kaytee 100505655 Mealworm Food Pouch

Kaytee 100505655 Mealworm Food Pouch, 17.6 Ounce, None

Another reasonably priced option is Kaytee 100505655 mealworm bird food which is a high-protein food source for a range of wild birds. It might sound a bit off-putting to us but mealworms are a real treat for birds so you can expect a lot of new backyard visitors with this bird food.

Mealworms are especially effective for attracting bluebirds, wrens, and woodpeckers which aren’t always easy to see in the wild. They are also an important source of food for baby birds so putting a bit of this in your garden will help to replenish bird species.

Before you worry about having to handle slimy worms, this bird food is oven-dried so it can easily be poured into your bird feeder with minimal mess. This also keeps it fresh for longer without reducing the nutrient quality.

For such a reasonable price, you can always buy this treat alongside your regular bird seed and mix them together.

A few customers have found that mealworms alone don’t attract as many birds as they would like but this might be due to the type of birds that lives in the area. If you’re looking to experiment and see what different kinds of birds you could attract with different bird seed types, give this a go.


  • Great for baby birds
  • Attracts rare birds
  • Oven-dried for freshness
  • Minimal mess


  • Not always effective

Mealworms are the best bird food if you want to attract some rare birds to your garden. The only issue is they can’t attract birds that aren’t in the area already so it might be a good idea to combine this with your regular bird seed first and see if you get any new visitors. 


9. Wildlife Sciences High Energy Suet Cake 10 Pack

Wildlife Sciences High Energy Suet Cake 10 Pack

Suet cakes are another popular choice for bird feed and they come with a range of suet bird feeders which are easy to refill with no mess. Suet cakes are also the best bird food if you are looking to attract woodpeckers.

These 10 high-energy suet cakes by Wildlife Sciences are premium quality and melt-resistant so they’ll keep well in a cool dry place. Just remember that it can soften and go off in direct sunlight so it might be better to set your bird feeder up in a cool shaded area.

They are also easy to open and no mess so you can refill your suet bird feeders quickly.

Although easy to refill, once the suet cake is in place it can leave a lot of debris once the birds start picking it apart so make sure you don’t set your bird feeder up anywhere you want to keep debris free. What’s more, the packaging is 100% recyclable so this bird food is really great for reducing waste.

As well as woodpeckers, suet bird food attracts a range of birds including chickadees, cardinals and sparrows. They are made from a range of compressed ingredients which are popular with these species including black oil sunflower and cracked corn, so you get the best of other bird seed types compacted into one.


  • Premium quality ingredients
  • Easy open and recyclable packaging
  • Attracts range of birds especially woodpeckers


  • Can leave mess underneath feeder
  • Can soften and spoil in the sun

If you want to attract woodpeckers and want an easy to refill bird food option, suet cakes are a great choice. But be prepared to sweep up the debris if your bird feeder happens to be on your porch as suet cakes can scatter a lot of mess. 


10. Wagner’s 42032 Cardinal Blend Wild Bird Food

Wagner's 42032 Cardinal Blend Wild Bird Food, 5-1/2-Pound Bucket

For any bird watchers who want to attract cardinals, Wagner’s 42032 is the best wild bird seed mix as it contains seeds that cardinals love including sunflowers seeds and safflower. These high oil seeds provide the necessary energy for these birds and a range of other species.

It comes in a reusable plastic bucket so you can cut down on your plastic waste.

The only issue is there are some waste products in the bird food itself such as sticks and leaves which means it’s not totally consumable. Another issue is it is quite expensive for a small 5 ½ pound bucket.

The safflower seeds also work to deter squirrels so you’ll see more birds and fewer predators in your backyard. We’ve featured a lot of bird seed types from Wagner’s because it truly is one of the best bird seed brands around.

Remember that having the best bird seed is just the first step, if you’re not seeing a lot of cardinals in your garden make sure you have placed your cardinal bird feeder in the optimal position close to natural shelters like trees and shrubs.



  • Contains other waste products like sticks and leaves
  • Expensive

If cardinals are the bird you are looking to attract, this is the best wild bird food for you. Just be prepared to pay a little more.


woodpecker feasting on bird seeds

Where is the Best Place to Buy Bird Seed?

As you can see from this review, you can easily order all the bird seeds and even the best bird houses, or just anything you need for that matter online at sites like Amazon, but it is important to buy from reputable brands to make sure you get your money’s worth. 

For a decent-sized bag of high-quality seed mix, you can expect to pay a fair bit so make sure you pick a birdseed brand with the best reviews.  

What Are The Best Bird Seed Brands?

We’ve only featured the best bird seed brands in this review. They are all well-known and have received good reviews on their different types of bird seed for different species of birds like cardinals and bluejays, and more!


This American company has been producing premium wild bird food products since 1894. They are well known for their high-quality products and excellent customer service so you can expect the best.


Kaytee produces a range of pet products including wild bird seed. They are also an American company that has been around since 1866 and is dedicated to bringing quality products to pet owners and wild bird watchers.  


This company specialize in wild bird food and their goal is to attract a variety of birds to America’s bird feeders. They value creating high-quality, nutritionally beneficial bird food as well as sourcing fresh and sustainable bird seed.

Meantime, here's a short video clip for a quick tip on how to avoid wasting your precious bird seeds:

Types of Bird Seed

Once you’ve decided which bird seed brand you like, you also have to think about what type of bird seed you need. Different types of bird seed can attract different species so make sure you’re buying the best type.


This is the easiest to find and one of the cheapest types of bird seed, but there are also different types of sunflower seed and some are more expensive than others. It isn’t suited to any species in particular but attracts a range of birds, so if you just want to see a bit of diversity in your garden this is a good choice.

Black oil sunflower is a great no-mess type of sunflower seed as it is easy for the birds to break down and doesn’t leave a lot of shell behind. It is also reasonably priced as it’s not consumed by humans. What’s more, it is very popular with a variety of birds.


If you are looking to attract finches in particular, this is their favorite type of seed. It is also not a favorite amongst squirrels so it will help to keep these predators away from your birds.


These are a real treat for birds and are especially helpful during colder seasons as they contain a lot of protein and fat which is what birds need to keep going through the cold. They might be a bit more expensive but if you are really struggling to attract birds to your garden then peanuts could be the answer.


You can purchase these critters live or dried but if you want a no-mess option go for dried. They will attract birds you might not always see in your garden like bluebirds.

Cracked Corn

The most cost-effective option, this can be added to your other birdseed or used by itself. Smaller birds will find it harder to consume as the whole corns are not broken down and they can leave a mess behind. Generally, it attracts more ground-dwelling birds and animals that can pick up the leftovers that fall from your selected best bird feeder.

bird seed feeding time


With so many different bird seed brands and bird seed types out there, it can be hard to figure out which one is the best. We’ve reviewed the best no mess and waste-free options as well as several types of bird seed in this review.

For me, the overall best bird seed has to be Wagner’s 62059 Greatest Variety Blend Wild Bird Food. This well-known American brand has been producing high-quality products for years and this is one of their best wild bird seed mixes.

Containing 11 different ingredients and 40% sunflower, you can expect the best results from this bird food. If you are looking to attract a specific species or just prefer a certain type of bird seed, take a look at all the options in this review to find something that works for you.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top

Buy the #1 Recommended Bird Seed Today:

Wagner's Greatest Variety Blend Wild Bird Food