Wild bird food is sold in many places these days, much of it in very sophisticated packaging but what’s actually in the bag? It’s worth pausing to consider the nutritional value of the ingredients and the benefit (or otherwise) it provides for your birds.

Ark Wildlife Ltd is a full member of the Birdcare Standards Association (BSA) and all our bags carry the logo guaranteeing the contents are safe and of an exacting quality standard that will offer significant benefit to garden birds. Our expertise and thorough understanding of bird nutrition means we have formulated all our bird food to comply and largely exceed the minimum requirements and adapted each mix to suit the specialised needs of the species which will feed on it. Read our page on ‘Why Buy From Us‘ for more information.

The nutritional value of the seeds and grains vary in the extreme, so the BSA have classified them into groups with the minimum and maximum allowable. All our bird food complies with and mostly exceeds these requirements.

GROUP 1 (best ingredients) our mixes contain a MINIMUM 20% of these

Black Sunflower
Sunflower Hearts
Peanut Granules
Suet Pellets
High Protein (minimum 16%) Soft Foods

GROUP 2 (good quality ingredients) our mixes contain a MAXIMUM 80% plus 20% GROUP 1

Split/Cut Maize
Pinhead Oatmeal
Small Striped Sunflower
Red or White Dari

GROUP 3 (less beneficial) our mixes contain a MAXIMUM 40% combined plus 20% GROUP 1
Naked Oats
Flaked Naked Oats
Flaked Wheat
Flaked Maize
Jumbo Oats

Another consideration is that different species have differing eating preferences. For example songbirds and insect eaters cannot eat whole seeds but will happily supplement their natural diets, when suitable food including some of these processed grains are offered, as long as plenty of GROUP 1 foods, such as sunflower hearts and peanut granules are also present.

GROUP 4 (supplementary ingredients) our mixes contain a MAXIMUM 15% of these combined
Medium Striped Sunflower
White Sunflower
Red and Black Rape
Sesame Lettuce
Grass seeds
Dried Fruits
Dried Crustacean (ie. Gammarus)
Dried Insects (ie. Mealworms)
Juniper Berries
Mountain Ash Berries
Dried Crickets
Whole Oats

Many songbirds are omnivores, meaning they are insect eaters but they also enjoy fruit and plant material and all birds will require occasional tonic seeds to help balance their diets. These foods fall into their own category, as shown below and should not be supplied in excess:

GROUP 5 our mixes contain a MAXIMUM 2% of these combined
Oystershell Grit
Pre-Biotics and Pro-Biotics

The following foods are on the banned list and have either no place in the bird care market, or can be potentially hazardous if used as part of a mix. Unfortunately they still appear regularly in many other companies bird food mixes!

NOT PERMITTED our mixes contain NONE of these in bird seed mixes
Whole Peanuts (in mixes)
Cold pressed biscuit
Extruded dried pellets (eg. dried biscuit)
Large Striped Sunflower
Whole Pulses
Whole Maize
Flaked Barley
Dried Rice
Split Peas
No seasoned, salted or spiced ingredients.

In these days of discount shops, ‘off the shelf’ websites and fulfilment houses, do you actually know who you’re buying from and how much they know (or care) about wild bird nutrition? When we looked closely, we were amazed how many ‘bird care’ companies were actually owned by large corporations or investment groups, run by slick marketing teams but with little or no ornithological experience. We are proud to be different and this is why we’re happy to publish the standards we work to and will NEVER fall below.

We are rightly very proud of the high quality bird seed mixes we offer for sale. We never compromise on quality, meaning you can be certain every bag carrying our logo, backed by the Birdcare Standards Association, is full of the best nutritionally balanced food on the market. Guaranteed to attract a greater abundance and diversity of birds to your garden.

Find out more about the best bird food for your garden birds using our Bird Feeding Guide.

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