Companion Wild Bird Food

companion wild bird food

Companion wild bird food is designed to enhance quality of life and ensure sustainable health in birds. Switching from a seed-based diet to one with other types of foods may be difficult for some birds.

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Start by offering your dog a nutritious seed mix, such as one with less fat-laden sunflower and peanut seeds.


1. Suet

Suet is made of hard animal fat and provides much-needed energy in times of food scarcity, particularly fall and winter when wild birds need extra calories to stay warm. Suet should be made available year-round but is especially necessary during those seasons when wild birds require additional calories in order to remain comfortable.

Purchase premade suet cakes (typically in log shape for easy hanging), or render your own. Additionally, beef farmers or butchers often sell suet trimmings at discounted or even free prices.

Popular ingredients for homemade suet recipes include chopped unsalted nuts (especially peanuts), dried fruit bits, kitchen scraps and insects like worms, flies and crickets. Sugary ingredients offer little nutritional benefit to birds. Suet mixes that combine these items are also readily available – an ideal solution for backyard birders.

2. Mealworms

Mealworms are a favorite snack among wild birds. While they provide some nutrition benefits, mealworms should be seen as supplement rather than primary food source.

Mealworms are larvae of darkling beetles commonly referred to as “mealworm” beetles and provide vital nutrition to reptiles and fish; additionally they’re popular as food sources in bird feeders as dietary supplements.

Mealworms can be raised easily at home. Simply purchase a mealworm kit or collect some plastic bins with oatmeal or bran and food. Refrigerating with their lid open or with holes drilled for airflow will keep them healthy for weeks or even months, with regular sieving of their bedding to remove excessive frass ensuring a lasting fresh crop of mealworms!

3. Popcorn

Popcorn (Zea mays everta), a timeless snack, can be spiced up to appeal to birds by adding salt or other sweeteners for added enjoyment. Popcorn provides high fiber intake that contributes to a balanced diet and weight management, as well as helping prevent diabetes and heart disease risk by stabilizing blood sugar levels.

Popcorn mixes often incorporate non-grain ingredients, such as dehydrated tropical fruits. While statistics on this market are scarce, Mexico’s increasing sales of companion bird food suggest there may be opportunities for regional producers with fruit drying facilities to market locally produced complete birdseed mixes to local consumers. Likewise, Asian demand for exotic companion bird foods suggests opportunities for regional manufacturers who specialize in manufacturing such products to sell regionally produced complete birdseed mixes.

4. Fruit

Birds need fruit as a source of energy when seeds and nuts don’t provide enough. Try offering them apples, oranges, bananas, berries and raisins; just be sure to rinse all produce thoroughly beforehand since fresh produce can quickly spoil and attract pests.

Bananas contain Vitamin C, dietary fiber and potassium; while apricots may also be eaten by birds as long as they do not contain pits or seeds.

Broccoli boasts antioxidants, Vitamin K, A, folate, and iron; spinach provides lutein, apigenin, and Vitamin A; while ripe bell peppers boast Vitamin C as well as soluble fiber content.

5. Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a food paste or spread made from ground, dry-roasted peanuts. Adding other ingredients that alter its taste or texture such as salt, sugar, molasses and hydrogenated rapeseed and soybean oils; mono- and diglycerides as emulsifiers; or flavoring can alter its flavors further. Peanut butter belongs to the Arachis hypogaea family of nut butters which also includes hazelnut and almond butters.

Introduce whole or shelled peanuts onto platform feeders and open-sided tube feeders, as well as mixing one part peanut butter with five parts cracked corn or milo to attract woodpeckers, chickadees, wrens, nuthatches and titmice.