Creating a wildlife-friendly garden in Ontario is not only a rewarding endeavor but also a wonderful way to connect with nature. One of the key elements to attract a diverse range of birds to your garden is choosing the right bird seed. Ontario's bird population is incredibly diverse, and offering the right seeds can turn your garden into a bustling hub for local wildlife. In this blog, we'll explore the five best bird seeds for wild birds in Ontario, helping you create a vibrant and welcoming haven for our feathered friends.

Black Oil Sunflower Seeds:

Black oil sunflower seeds are a staple in any bird enthusiast's collection. Known for their high oil content and thin shells, these seeds attract a wide variety of birds. In Ontario, you can expect to see popular visitors like cardinals, chickadees, finches, and nuthatches frequenting your garden for these nutritious seeds.

The thin shells of black oil sunflower seeds make them easy for smaller birds to crack open, ensuring that a diverse range of species can enjoy the feast. These seeds are rich in healthy fats, providing birds with the energy they need to thrive, especially during colder months.

Nyjer (Thistle) Seeds:

Nyjer seeds, also known as thistle seeds, are a favorite among finches, including goldfinches and pine siskins. These tiny, oil-rich seeds are a great source of energy for birds and are particularly beneficial during the winter months when natural food sources may be scarce.

To attract finches to your Ontario garden, offer nyjer seeds in specialized feeders with small openings. These feeders help prevent waste and keep the seeds dry, ensuring a fresh and enticing meal for your feathered visitors.

Safflower Seeds:

Safflower seeds are an excellent choice for bird enthusiasts looking to attract cardinals to their gardens. Cardinals are a common sight in Ontario, and their vibrant red plumage adds a splash of color to any backyard. Safflower seeds have a thick shell that deters squirrels, making them an ideal option if you want to focus on attracting birds while minimizing unwanted guests.

Cardinals and other larger birds readily consume safflower seeds, providing a high-energy food source. Consider offering safflower seeds in platform feeders or hopper feeders to accommodate the feeding preferences of cardinals and their feathered companions.

White Millet:

White millet is a versatile and affordable bird seed that attracts a wide range of ground-feeding birds. Sparrows, juncos, and doves are among the species that appreciate the small size and high energy content of millet. Scatter white millet on the ground or use low-profile feeders to entice ground-feeding birds to your garden.

This seed is particularly popular in the winter when birds seek easily accessible food sources. By incorporating white millet into your bird seed mix, you create an inclusive environment that welcomes both ground-feeding and perching birds.


Peanuts are a favorite treat for many bird species, including woodpeckers, blue jays, and nuthatches. Providing whole peanuts or peanut kernels in specialized feeders designed to accommodate these larger seeds will attract a variety of charming and acrobatic birds to your Ontario garden.

To ensure the safety of birds, choose unsalted and unroasted peanuts. Peanut feeders with mesh or wire openings are ideal for dispensing peanuts while preventing birds from taking large quantities at once. By offering peanuts, you can enjoy the entertaining antics of woodpeckers and the vibrant colors of blue jays right in your backyard.

Creating a bird-friendly garden in Ontario is a delightful way to connect with nature and contribute to the well-being of local wildlife. By selecting the right bird seeds, such as black oil sunflower seeds, Nyjer seeds, safflower seeds, white millet, and peanuts, you can attract a diverse array of feathered visitors to your garden.

Watching these beautiful birds thrive in your backyard will undoubtedly bring joy and a sense of fulfillment to your gardening experience. So, go ahead, stock up on these bird seeds, set up some feeders, and get ready to welcome Ontario's enchanting birds to your outdoor haven.