bird feeder food

Bird Feeder Food Ideas to Attract Birds to Your Yard

Birds are wonderful animals. They sing songs, have vibrant colors, and often eat unwanted bugs and pests. So what do you do if you don’t see many birds around your house? Well, there are several ways to attract birds but the most effective way is to have a bird feeder. Birds can remember where they get food so they’ll keep coming back for more. Here are some bird feeder food ideas to attract birds to your yard.

Benefits of Having Birds Around

First let’s go over the benefits of having birds around. Sometimes there are negatives like they might build unwanted nests, but this can be avoided. The pros of having birds around far outweigh the cons. The number of bugs around your house will decrease. Birds eat bugs, it’s as simple as that. Birds also provide education for young children. Since birds are easy to watch, your kids will learn how birds build nests, how they eat, and how they fly. There might even be some eggs in a nearby nest that your kids can look at. Some people say that with more birds around, you’ll also spend more time outside. This is because there’ll be several birds for you to watch. You can get a chart of birds found around your area and try to spot each bird on the chart. Birds are also nice to listen to and provide beautiful songs, creating a peaceful feeling around your house. 

Types of Bird Feeders

There are several kinds of bird feeders that you can choose from. Some kinds of bird feeders might be easier for you to have, while others might be more difficult. You decide which type of bird feeder is right for you.

Ground Feeding

bird feeder foods

This is exactly what it sounds like. Get some food that birds love and sprinkle it around your house. If there’s an area with a lot of bugs around your house, try putting bird food on the ground in that spot to encourage the birds to eat the bugs as well. This method of bird feeding is the easiest because it doesn’t require any other tools or actual feeders. All you need to do is put food on the ground. More birds will come.

Image Source: Feeder Watch

Large Hopper Feeder

bird feeder food

A large hopper feeder looks like a little birdhouse, but it isn't enclosed. Hopper feeders start out with a platform, then walls and a roof are added on. You can build your own hopper feeder or buy one. Put food inside the hopper feeder and lots of birds will flock to eat there. This type of feeder is great because it makes the food harder to get to for animals like squirrels, raccoons, skunks, or other pests. It’s also good because it’s large enough for bigger birds like doves or robins. The food is also more protected from rot and decay when it isn’t on the ground. 

Image Source: Feeder Watch

Tube Feeder

bird feeder food

This is basically your classic bird feeder. It’s a hollow cylinder with a tiny ledge for birds to perch on. Birds perch on the tiny ledge and eat the seeds out of the bottom of the cylinder. This type of bird feeder is really easy to make. Your kids can even make their own really easily. Usually tube feeders have small perches so that makes it harder for larger birds to come and eat from it. Finches and other smaller birds love tube feeders. 

Image Source: Feeder Watch

Bird Feeder Food

Sometimes it's hard to know what to feed birds. A lot of people wonder which foods are safe for birds. All of the bird feeder foods listed here are perfectly safe and healthy for birds. Different species like different kinds of foods. You may need to do some research to find out which kind of foods you want to put out. But these classic bird feeder foods will give you a great start!

Sunflower Seeds

Birds love cracking open the black shells of sunflower seeds and eating the nut inside. You might even see some sunflowers start growing because of all the seeds dropping on the ground. Sunflower seeds are nutritious and give birds the energy they need to continue flying around.

Oats

Oats aren’t included in bird feeder mixes very often. But they do provide essential nutrients for birds. You can use rolled oats and put that in your feeder. Larger birds like doves are more likely to enjoy oats.

Fruit

Many birds have a sweet tooth and love dried fruits. Raisins are a bird favorite! Birds also like the seeds of fruits like pumpkin seeds. Some birds even like fresh fruits. Orioles love fresh oranges and will drink the juice and eat the fruit too. Dried berries are always good because they are small and easy to eat. 

bird feeder food

Image Source: Pixabay

Nyjer

This seed is also a great bird feeder food. Nyjer seeds are high in nutrients so it makes a great choice. These are small seeds so you might need to get a special feeder which doesn’t allow the seeds to spill out all at once.

Peanuts

Birds love cracking open shells to get the nuts from inside. You can also have shelled peanuts. Birds will love peanuts no matter how they’re given.

Make Your Own Bird Food

Making your own bird food is actually really easy and fun! First you need to decide which of the previous ingredients you want to include. Melt some lard in a frying pan until it is all liquid. Then add in your dry bird feeder food and mix it all together. Make sure that any dried fruits are chopped up into small pieces. The bird feeder food should all stick together. If the ingredients don’t stick together, you may need more lard. Form the food into balls and place them in the fridge to cool. You can also stick the dry bird feeder food together using peanut butter. Birds love peanut butter! Put the ball of food in your large hopper feeder, or simply hang the ball up for the birds to enjoy. You can get hanging bird feeders, which is just a little net that you’ll put the ball of bird food into. Birds cling to the net while they eat. 

Summing Up

Birds are great! They’re beautiful to look at and incredible to have around the house. If you have a lot of pesky insects, try attracting birds to your yard to see if that helps the situation. Bird feeders are great at attracting birds and they'll keep coming back for more. You and your family will love looking at all the different kinds of birds that will come to enjoy your bird food. You can also provide water for the birds, which they’ll appreciate. Birds love bathing in water to cool down. They also need a lot of water to drink since flying takes a lot of energy. Try these bird feeder food ideas and see how many different species come from all around to enjoy it.

Image Source: Pixabay

Denali Gillen

I am a farmer’s wife living a farmer’s life. I love having wide open spaces and plenty of space to raise a family. Making the most out of outdoor spaces is something I never get tired of!

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