Bird Food - Best Type and Source?

Found 2nd Oct 2017
In the past I have picked up bird food 'on-the-fly' from the likes of Wilko, B&M Home Bargains - but not really given much thought to the best source, type and combination of feeds. Can I ask what bird foods you find attracts the most garden birds and what are the best/cheapest sources?

Many thanks!
Community Updates
Food and feeders depend very much on what birds you have/want to attract and where you are rural/urban and part of the country.

I am in the (very rural) South West and our biggest visitor is the Goldfinch.

We have quite a selection of birds and the feeders:
Goldfinch, chaffinch (ground feeders) siskin - Niger seed
Nuthatch (along with others above) - sunflower hearts and sunflower seed feeders
Flutter butter - peanut butter holder - blue tit, woodpecker (great spotted).
Wildbird seed - good make from our local garden centre - sparrows, chaffinch, blue tit, great tit.
Fat ball - sparrows, woodpecker, great tit, blue tit

I also put out fresh water and grated cheese. Robin and nuthatch love the cheese.

I buy at the local farmers supply, garden centre and online.
Edited by: "windym" 2nd Oct 2017
You can get a 20kg bag of cut maize\corn for around £8 from most poultry or farm supply shops, if you don't want to buy in . then Pick sell a 1kg bag if wild bird seed mix at 99p…wcB
Edited by: "SOUTHWALES" 2nd Oct 2017
I would say don't bother with mixed seed, there will be much of it the birds don't touch and therefore wasted as well as a lot of mess on the ground from the husks. The best is sunflower hearts, no mess and a lot of birds love it. If you feel up to it and have the money, then live mealworms (in a small pot i.e hamster food bowl or container) go down well, if not then dried meal worms, they are just not as nutritious. Fat balls/blocks are a godsend and another favourite in winter months, gives the birds plenty of energy. Don't forget the water, birds need this as much as food, just make sure to break any ice that stops them from drinking/bathing in it. Birds also love grated cheese, fruit (though not as much if there is other food available) and plain nuts. To attract the most variety of birds, you need to not only have the hanging feeders but a bird table as well as putting some food on the ground, as certain birds prefer to feed on the ground. Once the birds have found your bountiful supply of delicious food, there will be no stopping them, and I'm sure you'll have great pleasure in watching them jostling for a position on the feeders and splashing about in the bird bath, it doesn't need to be one of those pedestal type, I use a large flower pot saucer.
I buy my sunflower hearts in bulk from ebay along with mealworms on the odd occasion, you can get tubs of 50 fatballs from Wilcos or B&M that work out cheaper than buying packs of 6.
Edited by: "Beebee18" 2nd Oct 2017
Thank you all for your very helpful replies - what great suggestions. It did strike me that the mixed bird seed just leaves a lot of waste. Indeed, some crafty mice found a packet in our shed then went through it eating all the sunflower seeds.
I use cherry suet mini pellets and I have to but 12.5kgs as my birds go through it so quickly. The packets are just not in enough quantity to keep up with the demand. They seem to love the mini pellets as I have tried the larger ones and they don't go as quick. I order via my local shop so I support them. I am sure you can find it online.
I thought this was one of the best. Not chirpa cheap cheep though. It's what we buy. Birds eat better than me...…od/
Edited by: "wayners" 3rd Oct 2017
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