I'm quite flattered when anyone asks me about bird feeding, but feel nervous to offer up a reply having been an apartment dweller -- sans terrace -- for nearly 23 years. While I can't participate in this popular past time due to my building's rules, I do try to keep up on what others are doing.
This weekend while visiting lovely friends (and incredible cooks!) Jody and Joe at their home near Danbury, Connecticut, I experienced proof positive of one bird-feeding tactic: birds love black-oil sunflower seed.
Our gracious hosts didn't seem to mind when my focus sporadically changed from our conversation to the very active feeder positioned next to the deck. Even though the weather left something to be desired (cloudy you might gather by my slightly out-of-focus shots), THE place to be was this feeder! Northern Cardinals, House Finches, Black-capped Chickadees, and scads of Tufted Titmice crowded around. Extra treats included a Blue Jay, a distant Red-tailed Hawk feasting on something (mouse, perhaps?), calls of various woodpeckers, and a visit from an Eastern Chipmunk. We'll have to check back another time to hopefully spot the Wild Turkey that strut through our pals' woodland backyard paradise.
Need more evidence about black-oil sunflower seeds? Try these links to publications from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, The Migratory Bird Program -- Conserving America's Birds: Backyard Bird Feeding and Bird Feeding: Backyard Habitat for Wildlife.