Feeding Birds: Indigo Buntings Love White Millet Seed

While these birds have a varied diet, one way you might attract Indigo Buntings is to offer white millet seed at your feeders.

The bright blue flash of an indigo bunting in mating plumage is a sight every birder would welcome to their backyard. In summer, this beautiful bird is found throughout the eastern U.S. and into Canada. Floridians can look for them in the winter, although they won’t attain full mating plumage until early spring. You might be able to attract indigo buntings by feeding them one of their favorite seeds—white millet.

Attract Indigo Buntings with MilletJill Staake
Indigo Bunting

How to Feed Indigo Buntings

Offer white proso millet seed in platform feeders or tube feeders. If squirrels are a problem, try one of the tube feeders encased in a cage that allows birds through but keeps pesky squirrels out. Sprinkling a little millet on the ground may also attract doves, juncos, quail, and bobwhites. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area that has painted buntings, you might find these colorful birds at the feeders, too!

Learn the best way to attract birds that don’t visit bird feeders.

Attract Indigo Buntings MilletJill Staake
Indigo buntings, female painted bunting and male painted bunting

Here in Central Florida, I like to visit indigo buntings and painted buntings at Felts Audubon Preserve. Both of these birds routinely visit feeders offering white proso millet seeds, making it clear that this is their favorite. Millet seeds are often part of bird seed mixtures, but you can also buy the seed on its own at specialty bird stores and online. Note: avoid red millet and mixtures containing it—most birds don’t seem to care for it.

With spring approaching and indigo buntings about to head north for the summer, now is a great time to add white proso millet seed to your feeders, so you’ll  be feeding indigo Buntings as soon as they arrive in your area.

Next, check out the 10 types of bird feeders you need in your backyard.

Jill Staake
Jill lives in Tampa, Florida, and writes about gardening, butterflies, outdoor projects and birding. When she's not gardening, you'll find her reading, traveling and happily digging her toes into the sand on the beach.