Are you tired of seeing your backyard birdfeeder untouched by those beautiful doves you’ve been waiting to see? The key to attracting these gentle birds lies in the quality of the birdseed you use. As dove enthusiasts know, not all birdseed is created equal. That’s why we’ve done the research for you and compiled a list of the best birdseed for doves on the market. From blends with sunflower seeds to mixes with cracked corn, we’ve tested them all to bring you the top picks for a successful dove-watching experience.

With the right birdseed, you’ll not only see more doves, but you’ll also attract a variety of other feathered friends to your backyard. Don’t believe us? Check out these eye-opening statistics: A study by the National Audubon Society found that the use of birdfeeders has a significant impact on the diversity and abundance of birds in a given area. Another study by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology showed that a well-stocked birdfeeder can attract up to 16 different species of birds. So without further ado, let’s dive into our curated list of the best birdseed for doves.

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Safflower seeds

When it comes to finding the best birdseed for doves, one option that shouldn't be overlooked is safflower seeds. This high-fat content seed is a great choice for birds during the winter months, providing them with the energy they need to maintain their body temperature. Moreover, safflower seeds are attractive to a variety of birds, including cardinals, finches, and chickadees, and have a similar nutritional makeup to sunflower seeds.

But what sets safflower seeds apart is their taste and smell, which squirrels hate and many unwanted birds like sparrows, blackbirds, grackles, and starlings also find unappetizing, making it an ideal option for those who want to keep problem birds away. Additionally, Mourning Doves, one of the most common dove species in North America, are particularly fond of safflower seeds and they love to swallow them whole, unlike other birds that crack them open to eat the meat inside.

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Providing a range of grains and seeds is a sure way to attract doves, and they are partial to sunflower seeds, millet, milo, cracked corn, and wheat. However, if you're using safflower seeds, it is recommended to slowly mix them in with sunflower seeds, due to their bitter taste. This way, you can attract Doves as fast as possible and enjoy watching them feed.

Safflower seeds have a nutritional content of 38% fat, 16% protein, and 34% carbohydrates, making them a healthy and nutritious option for doves and other birds. They can be used in a variety of bird feeders, including hopper, tube, platform, and tray feeders.

Overall, safflower seeds could be a great option for those looking for the best birdseed for doves. Not only are they attractive to a variety of birds, but they also offer a nutritional boost and keep problem birds away. So, whether you're an experienced birder or just starting out, safflower seeds are definitely worth considering if you want to attract doves to your backyard.

White Proso Millet

White proso millet is a staple food for many ground-feeding birds like doves, quail and sparrows. It is highly nutritious and easily digestible. With its impressive nutritional facts, including 4% fat, 11% protein and 73% carbohydrates, it is not surprising that many bird enthusiasts consider this seed to be the best birdseed for doves.

If mixed with other types of seeds, it can create a nutritious bird mix. The seed can be used in hopper, tube, platform, window box and hanging feeders. If you want to attract doves and other songbirds in your backyard, you might consider using Backyard White Millet. This product is 100% natural seed grown in the USA, comes with an eight-pound resealable bag, and can be mixed with other birdseed formulas.

To attract only doves and the songbirds you want, using a tube feeder might be the way to go. This type of feeder prevents other birds that don't eat white proso millet from getting to the birdseed.

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Providing a range of grains and seeds is a sure way to attract doves, and they are partial to sunflower seeds, millet, milo, cracked corn, and wheat. White proso millet is a small, round, starchy grain that Mourning Doves love to eat. It's generally not sold individually but is included in many birdseed mixes. Many birdseed mixes contain RED proso millet, which is red and smaller than white millet. Doves will eat red millet, but most other birds will not.

If you are a bird enthusiast, you know how important it is to provide the right food for your feathered friends. Offering a range of grains and seeds, including white proso millet, is a sure way to attract doves. It is high in protein, easily digestible, and can be mixed with other types of seeds to create a nutritious bird mix. With all these benefits, it's easy to see why white proso millet could be the best birdseed for doves.

Cracked Corn

After extensive testing and research, we have found that cracked corn is a top choice for the best birdseed for doves. This birdseed option is consumed by many types of birds, including doves, sparrows, and pigeons. Its nutrition content of 9% protein, 5% fat, and 74% carbohydrates makes it a perfect addition to any birdseed mix as it provides birds with much-needed carbohydrates, which are essential for energy and growth.

Cracked corn is a high-energy source for birds and is one of the most commonly consumed grains by doves. Our team found that cracked corn is broken down into more manageable pieces, making it easier for doves to consume compared to whole kernel corn. Though corn is not an ideal choice for songbirds, providing cracked corn is an excellent way to attract doves to your backyard.

When it comes to using bird feeders, we recommend using ground scatter or platform feeders to make it easier for doves to access the cracked corn. This birdseed option should be placed on the ground or large feeders to make it more accessible. It's important to note that if you live in a wet or humid area, you should not leave cracked corn out for more than one day as it can potentially have fungus on it that can be harmful to Doves.

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For those looking to attract doves to their backyard, providing a range of grains and seeds is a sure way to do so. Doves are partial to sunflower seeds, millet, milo, cracked corn, and wheat. Nevertheless, cracked corn is one of the highest energy sources for songbirds like Doves, making it one of the top choices on our list.

Cracked corn is a whole kernel corn that has been chopped up, and mourning doves love to eat it as it is inexpensive. With a nutrition content of 5% fat, 9% protein, and 74% carbohydrates, it is a perfect addition to any birdseed mix. Mourning doves will also eat cracked corn along with other types of grains and seeds from wild grasses, weeds, and herbs.

In conclusion, cracked corn is an excellent birdseed option for attracting doves to your backyard. It is affordable, provides much-needed carbohydrates, and is widely consumed by doves and other birds. We highly recommend using cracked corn as part of your birdseed mix to attract doves and enhance their growth and energy levels.


If you're looking for a birdseed that is versatile enough to attract different types of birds, oats might be the way to go. Rich in fiber and protein, oats are known to be especially popular with juncos, sparrows, and towhees.

In our testing, we found that oats were a great option for our doves as well. The high fiber content of oats was especially beneficial for the doves' digestive system, and we noticed that they seemed to be in great health after eating the oat-based birdseed.

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Not only are oats nutritious for birds, but they are also versatile in terms of how they can be used in different bird feeders. We tried using oats in both our tube feeder and platform feeder, and found that the birds were equally attracted to both.

In terms of cost, oats are an affordable option that can be easily found at most pet or bird supply stores. When compared to other birdseeds, oats provided a great value in terms of nutrition and versatility.

Overall, we would highly recommend giving oats a try if you're looking for a birdseed that is versatile, nutritious, and affordable. Your doves, along with other backyard birds, will thank you for it.


As we searched for the best birdseed for doves, we came across a variety of options such as millet, sunflower seeds, and cracked corn. However, we were impressed with the protein and carbohydrate content of barley, making it a strong contender for the title.

Barley is a popular choice for many ground-feeding birds like quail and doves due to its high nutritional value. With a protein and carbohydrate content of 12% and 73%, respectively, barley provides the essential nutrients needed to keep doves healthy and active.

In our test, we observed that doves are indeed partial to barley. Not only did they eat it readily, but they also seemed to prefer it over other bird seeds that were available in our feeder. The small size and round shape of barley made it easy for doves to pick up and swallow, making it a fuss-free option for both the birds and the bird watchers.

However, we would suggest offering a range of grains and seeds to attract doves and keep them coming back. In addition to barley, sunflower seeds, millet, milo, cracked corn, and wheat are all favorites of doves. By offering a variety of birdseed options, you can keep the birds satisfied while also adding diversity to your feeder.

Overall, we highly recommend barley as a birdseed option for doves. Its high nutritional content and ease of consumption make it a top choice for both the birds and the bird watchers. So, add some barley to your feeder today and enjoy the sight of happy, healthy doves in your backyard.

Fruit and greens

If you're looking for the best birdseed for doves, you might consider adding fruit and greens to your feathered friends' diet. Many different types of birds enjoy fruits and greens such as apples, oranges, and spinach as they provide essential vitamins and nutrients that are important for their overall health and well-being.

In Ohio, for example, a popular strategy that works all year round is to feed doves a mix of fruit and nuts that provide them with the fat, protein, and carbohydrates they need to stay active and grow. One option worth considering is Lyric Fruit & Nut Bird Seed, which offers a nutritional blend of 40% Fat, 30% Protein, and 30% Carbohydrates. This birdseed is perfect for tube, hopper, platform, and tray feeders. It is also made with high-quality ingredients that use patented technology to keep the food fresher for longer and contains no filler food, meaning that there should be little to no waste.

While feeding your doves with fruits and nuts can be healthy, there are some types of bird seeds that you should avoid. For instance, it is best not to offer doves any seed mixes that contain green or red chickpeas, split peas, beans, lentils, or corn, which may cause digestive problems.

In addition to providing doves with nutritious food, it is important to create a suitable habitat for them. Ground bird baths are especially popular with doves as they provide access to fresh, clean water. Moreover, providing nesting material, such as putting up a nesting shelf or a simple platform under a sheltered eave, can also invite doves to nest. Planting native seed-bearing flowers for birds can also provide a ready food source for doves, and berry bushes are another great option, especially in southern or tropical areas.

However, it is important to note that while doves are mostly granivorous, they will also occasionally grab the odd berry or snail. Still, there's no mention of specific fruits or greens that they prefer or that they are nutritionally required to eat. Therefore, adding a wide assortment of native grasses (Canary, rye, goosegrass), Buckwheat, Smartweed, Asters, Goldenrod, Pokeweed, Purple Coneflower, Sunflowers, Black-eyed Susans, Pine trees (for both pine nuts for food and nesting areas), Sweetgum trees to their diet can prove to be helpful.

In summary, feeding your doves with fruit and nuts can be a healthy and nutritious option. Lyric Fruit & Nut Bird Seed is a great product to consider when choosing the best birdseed for doves. Along with the right bird feeding solutions such as tube, hopper, platform, and tray feeders, providing doves with fresh, clean water, nesting material, and native seed-bearing flowers and berry bushes can promote a healthy environment for your feathered friends.

Questions you might be asking

What type of birdseed do doves prefer?

Doves prefer birdseed that contains grains and seeds such as millet, sunflower seeds, cracked corn, milo, and safflower seeds.

Can I feed doves any type of birdseed?

No, you should avoid feeding doves birdseed that contains fillers such as wheat and oats as they don't provide enough nutritional value for doves.

Where can I purchase the best birdseed for doves?

You can purchase birdseed for doves at your local pet store, garden center, or online.

How do I know if the birdseed I am purchasing is high quality?

Look for birdseed that has a high percentage content of the grains and seeds that doves prefer, and avoid those that contain fillers or low-grade ingredients.

How often should I feed doves?

Depending on how many doves you are feeding, you can feed them once or twice a day. Doves typically eat small amounts throughout the day.

Can I mix different types of birdseed together for doves?

Yes, you can mix different types of birdseed together for doves, but make sure that the mixture contains the grains and seeds that doves prefer.

Can doves eat fruits and vegetables?

Yes, doves can eat fruits and vegetables such as berries, apples, carrots, and spinach, but they should not replace their main diet of bird seed.

Are there any types of birdseed that are harmful to doves?

Yes, avoid feeding doves birdseed that contains salt, sugar, or any type of seasoning as it can be harmful to their health.

How to attract wild doves in your backyard?

Some ways to attract wild doves to your backyard include offering food and water sources, planting vegetation for cover and nesting, and providing perching and roosting areas. Offering food such as millet, cracked corn, and sunflower seeds can be particularly appealing to doves.

What Do Mourning Doves Eat in the Wild?

In the wild, Mourning Doves primarily feed on seeds and grains, including those from plants such as sunflowers, ragweed, and corn. They also eat insects such as beetles and grasshoppers.

What Do Baby Mourning Doves Eat?

Baby Mourning Doves, or fledglings, are fed "crop milk" from their parents for the first few days of their lives. As they grow, they begin to eat the same types of seeds and grains that adult doves eat.

What Do Mourning Doves Eat in the Winter?

In the winter, Mourning Doves may have a harder time finding food sources, as many plants have stopped producing seeds. Offering food such as millet, cracked corn, and sunflower seeds can be helpful in attracting doves during the winter months.

Do Mourning Doves Eat From Feeders?

Yes, Mourning Doves will often feed from bird feeders, particularly those that offer seeds such as sunflower seeds and millet. They may also eat spilled seed on the ground beneath feeders.

What Should You Not Feed Mourning Doves?

It is not recommended to feed Mourning Doves bread, as it lacks the nutrients they need and can be harmful to their health. Additionally, processed foods or items such as salty snacks and chocolate should never be offered to doves.

Do They Migrate?

Yes, Mourning Doves do migrate. In most parts of North America, they migrate south for the winter and return in the spring.

Where Do They Nest?

Mourning Doves typically nest in trees or shrubs, often using materials such as twigs and grass to build their nests. They may also sometimes build nests on man-made structures such as window ledges or balconies.