Some folks shop for birdseed by the pound. They pick out the largest bag for the least amount of money. They see a 10-pound bag and it only costs $4.99 so they buy it.
The cheaper assortments of birdseed all have fillers, most specifically milo, which most birds don’t eat. So you are really paying much more per pound if you are trying to entice bluebirds, cardinals, chickadees, titmice and other seed-eating songbirds.
Probably the best value of all birdseed is sunflower chips. Though they seemingly cost more per pound than other seeds, there is zero waste and sunflower chips attracts all seed-eating birds. Every single one. Because they are chips, with hulls removed, all birds can digest these seeds. I even saw a robin at our sunflower chip feeder last winter during a snow.
Since most of us don’t have unlimited funds to feed the birds, we have to watch our dollars and get the most bang for the buck.
I believe the best value in sunflower chips comes from Pennington and Wal-Mart is now carrying 5.5 pound bags at just $6.49 a bag.
Sunflower for birdseed come three ways: whole, hearts and chips. The whole, black-oil sunflower seeds are ideal for cardinals because cardinals have beaks equipped to break the hulls and then eat the hearts. Doves swallow the whole seeds and their craw helps them digest the seeds. Bluebirds, however, cannot break apart the hulls and they have no craw, so the only way they can enjoy these oil-rich seeds is in hearts or pieces. Sunflower hearts come whole while the chips come in smaller pieces. I believe the sunflower chips are easier to eat for all the birds. They just swallow them down.
Winter is a tough time for insect- and berry-eating birds, like bluebirds, mockingbirds and others. By keeping a feeder stocked with sunflower chips, you’ll attract these birds and more.