How to
Choose Bird Food

With lots of different bird food types to choose from it can be confusing to know which one to buy, especially if you’re new to feeding the birds.

Here is a simple guide explaining which bird food is best to choose at different times of the year, or if you’re trying to attract specific bird species into your garden.

All year-round food

Seed Mixes

The easiest and simplest bird food to choose is an all year-round complete food, such as the Peckish Complete Seed and Nut Mix. This type of food is usually a blend of seeds and nuts and contains essential nutrients that are suitable for feeding through all the seasons. All-year round feeds are loved by a large range of birds, attracting more birds to your garden.  


‘Straight’ bird foods are packs of individual types of seed that come straight as they are and are not a blend of different seed mixes. For example, straight bird foods include sunflower seeds, sunflower hearts, peanuts, nyjer seeds and mealworms. These are all great natural sources of food and are closest to a bird’s natural diet. They’re packed full of essential nutrients that birds need to survive.

You’ll need to consider which ‘straights’ you’re feeding the birds with during nesting season. Peanuts and mealworms can be very dangerous choking hazards for young birds; it’s best to avoid feeding peanuts during nesting season. However, you can re-hydrate mealworms in water to soften the hard shells as once soft, these are safe to put out for the birds so they can feed their young.

Food for specific seasons

There are also bird food options available to help tailor the birds’ needs at different times of the year.

Nesting Season

During the nesting season, opt for a seed mix that’s specifically for young birds. Peckish Nesting and Young Bird Seed mix is a perfect option. These specific seed mixes have been specially blended to be high in protein and energy, and smaller in size. This is to help improve the chances of young chicks and fledglings being successfully reared, and to ensure that they receive the energy and nutrients they need to develop and thrive.

Winter Months

During the winter months there are less natural food sources around and birds need high energy food to stay warm and survive the cold weather. Supplementing their natural food with special winter feeds such as Peckish Winter Warmer Seed Mix, which is packed full of energy boosting ingredients, will provide birds with the essential winter energy they need to thrive.

Suet feeds are also perfect for fuelling birds in winter. From suet pellets, suet cakes and energy balls; there’s lots of options available. Suet itself is a high energy formulation of animal fat and other nutritional ingredients to attract insect eating birds. As birds have a very fast metabolism, suet is a quick source of heat and energy which is important especially when birds need it most during winter.

Food types for specific garden bird species

Bird Type Bird Food Type

Great Tit

Mealworms, Peanuts, Go


Nyjer Seed

House Sparrow



Sunflower Hearts, Mealworms



Great Spotted Woodpecker

Peanuts, Sunflower Seeds

Song Thrush

Mealworms, Peanuts



Blue Tit

Sunflower Hearts, Energy Balls


Sunflower Seeds