Various bird foods on a wooden surface

So what is the best bird food to buy?

Want to give that Robin a daily mealworm treat? Or see the Goldfinch visit your garden every day with a buffet of nyjer seed? Or just share the love and delight your Blue Tits with sunflower hearts? With lots of different foods available, we’ve made it easier for you with our helpful guide. So you can be sure the food you put out will attract the birds and make your garden the go to venue for local wildlife.

Common garden birds fit into three categories of food preference: seed eaters, insect eaters or both.

Have a look below to see what the most common garden birds eat and you’ll find some foods work for multiple birds species to give your garden a great variety of wildlife:

Firstly don't forget your feeder - if you need help deciding on the correct feeder for you go to our feeder guide.

If you’re looking for a sure fire hit our seed mixes are the place to start - our Hi-Energy No Mess mix has been a favourite for garden birds around Europe for over 30 years, and everything in it is edible, meaning there is no mess, no waste and no weeds.

Similarly, sunflower hearts are also de-husked and a great staple with a huge variety of birds enjoying them day after day. We use the best ingredients in all our seed mixes so you can be sure your birds are getting the most benefit from what they are eating. If you know that your birds favour something specific, such as nyjer seed for Goldfinch, then have a look at all what we have to offer.

Try and select food with a high calorie and fat content, as birds need all the energy they can get!

Our Peanut Butter for Birds jars all have high energy and calorie content, are made on our Shropshire farm and are recommended by 9 out of 10 birds who try them. They can be offered all year round and if you’re ever in any doubt how much the birds love them, try and find anything left in the jar when its time to refill.

Peanut Cakes, fat balls and other suet-based foods appeal to almost all birds and, with a few extra little treats hidden in there for good measure, can soon make your garden a busy area with a great number of different species queuing up for their breakfast. They’re a very versatile food - can be fed from a specialist feeder, placed on tables or even rubbed into tree trunks and branches so even the most timid birds get to enjoy too.

Birds feeding on a Niagara hanging table

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Search our range of feeders and find the perfect one for your garden.

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Two birds using an Endine bird bath

Wildlife needs water

Water is essential for wildlife all year round. Birds especially need a refreshing drink and a splash to keeping plumage in tip top condition.

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A group of birds feeding on a seed feeder

The Apollo™ 5

Our best selling feeder from our best selling range, Apollo has been designed exclusively for Vivara, and has a few tricks up its sleeve…

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Peanuts are high in oils and protein so also a good option for those that like nuts. Whole peanuts should always be offered in a mesh peanut feeder, so that juvenile birds don't bite off more than they can chew and choke. An alternative is kibbled (chopped) peanuts which is also included in other seed mixes.

Mealworms are a particular favourite, especially for Robins - you can even befriend a Robin to take them from your hand - how cool is that? Worms are a great source of protein and beneficial in the spring at breeding time.

Remember, its quality over quantity in what makes a good bird food, so have a look at our Foods. You don’t want any cheap fillers or waste, just good nutritious meals. And keep those feeders topped up all year. Each season has its own peaks where demand for food is high, or populations are booming and competition at feeders is fierce.

Choosing Bird Foods - Products