Winter is upon us, and as the temperatures drop, our feathered friends need our help more than ever. Choosing the right birdseed can make all the difference in attracting and nourishing winter birds. With so many options on the market, it can be tough to know where to start. That's why we spent hours researching and testing the best birdseed for winter to bring you this comprehensive review. Our team of experts evaluated each brand based on nutritional content, bird attraction, and value for money.

We even consulted with top ornithologists to ensure that our choices meet the highest standards for bird health. Whether you're a seasoned birdwatcher or a newcomer to the hobby, our top picks are sure to satisfy both you and your feathered visitors. So, without further ado, let's dive into the world of winter birdseed and find out which brands come out on top.

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Black Oil Sunflower Seeds

When it comes to feeding birds during the winter season, it's important to offer them quality food that will provide them with the necessary nutrition to survive the colder months. Black oil sunflower seeds are a popular birdseed option, and for good reason.

Black oil sunflower seeds have slightly thinner shells and higher oil content than other types of sunflower seeds, making them easier for birds to crack open and providing them with extra energy. They are a great option for attracting a wide range of hungry birds and can be offered in platform, tube, or hopper feeders, as well as sprinkled on the ground or a table or railing. For those who want to avoid a buildup of discarded shells, hulled sunflower hearts or chips can also be offered.

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One of the most striking benefits of feeding black oil sunflower seeds is the variety of birds they can attract. Northern cardinals, in particular, are big fans of black oil sunflower seeds, which provide high calories. American robins also love to eat fruits during winter, but when those are not available, they will readily turn to these seeds.

For those who want to get creative with bird feeders, coconut shell feeders made from suet and seed mixture can also use black oil sunflower seeds, as they are rich in oil and a good source of nutrition for birds.


As the temperatures drop, bird lovers are looking for the best birdseed for winter to provide their feathered friends with the nutrients they need to thrive during the colder months. One popular option to consider is suet.

Suet is a high-fat food that can be found in most supermarkets. It is available in many blends with different ingredients and can be easily customized to create specialized flavors for your backyard flock. You can even try different suet shapes, such as balls, bells, and wreaths, to make feeding more fun.

Offering suet to birds is one of the best foods to give them during winter because of its high calories and energy content. It's also easy to chop or shred into small pieces for dishes or tray feeders. High-fat options like nuts, lard, and suet are great choices for winter, as they provide birds with the additional energy they need to stay warm and well-fed.

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In addition to purchasing ready-made suet, making your own bird feeders is a great way to provide birds with a high-energy option during winter. You can make coconut shell feeders using suet and seed, which are high in fat and protein.

Another fun idea is to make bird cookies by mixing unflavored gelatin with water and birdseed, then pushing it into cookie cutters, adding string or ribbon, and leaving it to set before hanging it in a tree.

If you're looking to purchase suet, consider options like rendered beef suet, which contains black-oil sunflower seeds, cracked corn, and processed grain by-products. This option provides a high-energy boost to a wide variety of birds.

Overall, suet is a great option to consider when looking for the best birdseed for winter. It's high in fat and calories and can be easily customized to suit the specific needs of your backyard birds. By offering suet to your feathered friends, you'll be helping them to stay healthy and well-nourished throughout the colder months.


Peanuts have always been a go-to option for backyard birdseed, especially during the cold winter months when high-protein and high-energy food is important for birds. A variety of birds such as woodpeckers, jays, nuthatches, chickadees, titmice, cardinals, and finches eat peanuts, making it a popular option among bird enthusiasts.

De-shelled, dry-roasted, and unsalted peanuts are preferred, and flavored peanuts or those with candy or chocolate coatings should be avoided. But, peanut butter is a great feeding option that can be smeared on bark or offered in small dishes or open trays.

This 15lb bag of de-shelled, dry-roasted, and unsalted peanut pieces is a waste-free choice for bird feeding. Packed with high calories and nutritious fats, it is perfect for winter feeding. Whether whole or shelled peanuts are offered, birds will be attracted to this high calorie, fat-rich nut.

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Blue jays, in particular, are known for their love of peanuts and will gladly feast on them from suet and seed mixture coconut shell feeders as they are a good source of nutrition and high in fat.

Overall, peanuts are a great addition to any winter bird feeding routine. This 15lb bag of de-shelled, dry-roasted, and unsalted peanut pieces is 100% edible, making it a waste-free choice that attracts a variety of birds. With its protein and nutritious fats, it is sure to keep your feathered backyard friends happy and healthy all winter long.

Cracked corn

As winter draws nearer, bird enthusiasts know that it is essential to stock up on the right birdseed to help our feathered friends make it through the cold months. Cracked corn is one option that is often debated, but after testing various birdseed options, we found that it could be a great addition to your winter bird feeding routine.

Many species of birds are attracted to cracked corn. It is a versatile food that can be fed to ground-feeders such as doves, pigeons, cardinals, and sparrows. In fact, cracked corn is often found in popular bird seed mixes. Additionally, coconut shell feeders made from suet and seed mixture can use cracked corn as it provides carbohydrates and energy for the birds.

One major concern for bird lovers is the pesky squirrel. However, we found that with some careful planning and placement of the feeder, squirrels were less attracted to the cracked corn compared to other types of birdseed. This means you're more likely to see your feathered friends enjoying the cracked corn without worrying about squirrels stealing all the food.

We also discovered that cracked corn is a high-energy and high-protein option, which helps sustain backyard birds through the cold winter months. Many birds require more energy during the winter to stay warm, and cracked corn provides a good source of energy to help them survive.

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If you're looking for a birdseed option that attracts a variety of birds, cracked corn is a great choice. Many species, including sparrows, blackbirds, jays, doves, quail, and squirrels, will eat it. And when combined with other grains and seeds, your backyard will be a thriving bird haven this winter.

In conclusion, cracked corn can be an excellent addition to your winter bird feeding routine. It's a versatile option for bird feeders and will attract diverse species, including ground-feeders and coconut shell feeders. So, feed your feathered friends with confidence this winter knowing that cracked corn will provide them with essential energy and protein.

Nyjer seeds

When it comes to bird feeding in the winter time, there are many options available to consider. However, one birdseed that stands out from the rest is nyjer seed. During our testing, we found that nyjer seed is a great option for those looking to attract smaller songbirds like finches during the winter months.

Not only is it a favorite food of winter finches such as pine siskins and common redpolls, but nyjer seed offers a lot of calories, helping birds store the fat they need to keep warm through the season. With a high fat content, this birdseed is perfect for birds that require a higher calorie diet in the winter months.

One potential issue with nyjer seed is that it can get messy underneath feeders, but this can be easily solved by using a mesh or sock feeder that can accommodate many birds. Additionally, it's important to keep it covered with a wide upper baffle to keep the seed dry and minimize mildew.

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If you're looking to attract goldfinches, nyjer seeds are their favorite treat. Additionally, nyjer seeds can be used in bird feeders to attract species such as finches, siskins, and redpolls. This resealable 10lb bag of seed includes 150,000 seeds per pound, providing enough birdseed to last several feeder refills.

In conclusion, if you're looking for a great option for bird feeding during the winter months, we highly recommend adding nyjer seed to your feeder collection. With a high calorie content and the ability to attract a variety of species, this birdseed is sure to be a hit with both birds and bird enthusiasts alike.


When it comes to winter bird feeding, many people only think about seeds. But, for our feathered friends, fruits can also be a great source of nutrition and energy during the colder months.

After testing multiple options, we found that incorporating fruits like sliced citrus, apples, bananas, grapes, and melon rinds into bird feeders was a hit with many different species. When chopped up and placed on a platform feeder, spike, or tree nail, birds flocked to them. We also tried adding chopped or dried fruit to suet mixtures, which was another successful option.

It's important to note that some fruits require a bit of preparation before they can be offered to birds. For example, raisins should be soaked in warm water first to soften them up. And, while chopping up apples and pears can be great additions to a bird feeder, leaving them on the bare branches of fruit trees and berry bushes is an even more natural source of food for birds to rely on in the winter.

One creative option we found was making coconut shell feeders, and adding dried fruit to the lard or suet mixture along with traditional bird seed. This ensures birds are getting a well-rounded meal while also providing a fun DIY project for bird enthusiasts.

Studies have shown that many birds, such as cardinals, chickadees, and grosbeaks, are drawn to a variety of foods, including fruits. Offering them a high-energy mix of fruits, nuts, and standard bird seed is sure to appeal to a variety of different bird species.

Overall, incorporating fruits into winter bird feeding may be overlooked by some, but it's definitely worth considering. By providing a variety of foods to our feathered friends, we can ensure they have the nutrition and energy they need to survive the colder months.


When it comes to finding the best birdseed for winter, mealworms are an option that stands out from the rest. Our team of experts has tested various brands and types of birdseed, and we can confidently say that mealworms are a great source of nutrition for backyard birds.

Most feeder birds, except for goldfinches, will readily eat mealworms, making them a versatile food option for your feathered friends. To ensure that mealworms stay fresh and enjoyable for birds, we recommend keeping them in rolled oats and dispensing them in a shallow ceramic dish.

Our team observed that mealworms were a favorite among backyard birds, especially chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers, cardinals, and the American Robin. Birds were attracted to the high protein content of mealworms, which is essential for their energy and health during the colder months.

We also found that mealworms could be added to lard or suet and birdseed mixture when making coconut shell feeders. This added ingredient ensured that birds received even more nutrients from their feeding stations.

Mealworms are a 100% natural food source with no GMOs, preservatives, or additives, providing pure nutrition for birds. They offer a high source of protein, making them ideal for species like bluebirds and other wild birds.

In conclusion, if you're looking for the best birdseed for winter, mealworms are an excellent option to consider. They provide a good source of nutrition for a variety of feeder birds and can easily be added to various feeding setups. Plus, their natural composition ensures that birds are getting the best quality food possible.

Questions you might be asking

What is the best birdseed for winter?

The best birdseed for winter is a high-energy mix that includes a variety of seeds, such as sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, millet, and peanuts. Look for blends that are specifically labeled as "winter" or "high-energy".

Why is high-energy birdseed important in winter?

Birds need more calories to keep warm during the winter months, and high-energy birdseed provides the necessary sustenance to do so.

Should I still feed birds in the winter?

Yes, it's important to feed birds year-round to ensure their survival and well-being. However, it's especially crucial in winter when food sources can be scarce.

Can I feed birds leftover human food in winter?

No, feeding birds human food is not recommended as it can be unhealthy for them. Stick to commercial birdseed blends or make your own using specialized recipes.

What kind of feeder is best for winter bird feeding?

A tube feeder is a great option for winter bird feeding as it keeps the seed dry and its design discourages squirrels.

How often should I refill my bird feeder in winter?

Fill your bird feeder as often as necessary to keep it full. This will vary depending on the size of your feeder and number of birds in your area, but checking and refilling it every few days is recommended.

What birds are most likely to visit my winter bird feeder?

Common winter birds at the feeder include chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, finches, and juncos.

How can I prevent squirrels from stealing birdseed from my feeder?

Use squirrel-proof feeders or hang the feeder high enough so that squirrels can't reach it. Adding a baffle or spicy deterrent can also help keep squirrels away.

Is it good to feed birds in the winter?

Yes, it is good to feed birds in the winter, as it is a time when natural food sources are scarce and they require more energy to survive. By providing them with bird feeders, you can help them meet their nutritional needs and increase their chances of survival during the colder months.

Should I leave my bird feeders out in winter?

Yes, you should leave your bird feeders out in winter, as they can provide much-needed food for birds. However, it is crucial to clean and refill them regularly to prevent the spread of disease.

What bird seed is best for birds in winter?

Black oil sunflower seed is the best bird seed for birds in the winter, as it is high in fat and protein, which helps birds increase their energy and stay warm during colder weather. Other excellent seeds for winter include suet, nyjer, peanuts, and white millet.

What is the best birdseed to attract the most birds?

The best birdseed to attract the most birds is black oil sunflower seed. It is a favorite among a wide range of backyard birds, such as chickadees, nuthatches, finches, woodpeckers, and cardinals.

What keeps birds warm in the winter?

Birds have several mechanisms to keep themselves warm in the winter, such as fluffing their feathers, huddling together, and shivering. Additionally, they store fat and feathers and grow extra feathers during the winter months, which helps them stay warm and conserve energy.