What to Feed Wild Birds in Winter

what to feed wild birds in winter

During the winter months, you might be wondering what to feed wild birds. Suet, bananas, peanut butter, striped sunflower seeds, and even peanut butter might tempt them to make an appearance. While this is a high-fat food, it is a favorite of many species. You can find suet at any grocery store, or you can make your own mesh onion bag feeder to attract these avian visitors.

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In winter, suet attracts many different kinds of birds, including woodpeckers and other insect eaters. Woodpeckers, downy woodpeckers, hairy woodpeckers, pileated woodpeckers, and goldfinches are common visitors to suet feeders. Suet also attracts other types of birds, such as warblers and wrens, which may otherwise not visit seed feeders.

If you are feeding wild birds in the winter, consider purchasing suet in a variety of forms, including frozen, dry, and rendered. Make sure that the suet you purchase contains actual suet. If you can’t find suet in any type of food store, you can also buy rendered beef fat from your local butcher shop. It should be relatively inexpensive and easy to find. Suet can also be used for poultry feeding.


There are many benefits of bananas for wild birds. Bananas are rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals. Bananas are a particularly good choice for feeding wintering birds. You can put a handful of bananas out in your garden each day to attract different species. You can place a bowl of bananas under a bird table or near your regular feeders. This will attract both garden and wild birds to your property.

A variety of birds love bananas. Remove the peel and slice the fruit lengthwise. The red-breasted nuthatch, evening grosbeak and titmouse are the biggest fans. If you have some bananas around the house, you can also add raisins to the platform feeder. Raisins are also a great food for the red-headed woodpecker. In addition to feeding your birds, bananas are a great source of energy.

Striped sunflower seeds

If you’d like to attract more species of birds to your yard, you can offer striped sunflower seeds. These are relatively inexpensive and attract larger birds with strong bills. They’re also a deterrent for squirrels and raccoons, so you may want to place them somewhere out of reach of these creatures. Typical birds attracted to these seeds include cardinals, grosbeaks, woodpeckers, and blue jays.

There are three main types of sunflower seeds: black oil, striped, and hulled. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Black oil sunflower seeds have a thin shell and are more fat-rich, while striped sunflower seeds have thicker shells and are easier for birds to crack. These seeds are a great choice for wild birds in winter. They are easy to grow and are a great source of nutrition.

Peanut butter

You can easily get large quantities of peanuts from any grocery store. You can also visit farm supply stores to buy peanuts in bulk. You can also purchase roasted peanuts in the grocery store in convenient pantry-friendly sizes. Although roasted peanuts are better for the birds, any brand will do. Peanuts in their natural form should be unflavored and unsalted. It is better to choose roasted peanuts instead of salted peanuts, but any variety will work fine.

You can also place peanut butter jars on trees. Nuthatches and woodpeckers love peanut butter. You can also place peanut butter inside a seed-filled pine cone. While peanut butter is good for birds even in summertime, you should pay special attention to peanut butter in the winter. They need high amounts of protein in their diets during this time. However, you should avoid offering a lot of peanut butter to your birds because it will melt in the warm weather.

Cooked rice

For your wild birds to survive the cold winter months, try offering cooked rice. Cooked rice is an ideal choice, and it is much more appealing to smaller birds. Larger birds don’t have trouble handling row rice grains, which you can soak and cook to suit your bird. You can also offer leftover rice that has been boiled or soaked to your bird. Wild birds that prefer a generalist diet will happily accept cooked or soaked rice, while more specialized species will hesitate.

While uncooked rice can be hard for your birds to chew, cooked rice will remain soft in their stomach. Birds must digest food quickly, so they can turn it into energy. Uncooked rice is difficult for birds to digest, and you will have to make sure it’s cooked correctly. Also, remember that different birds digest food differently, and small birds will have a longer digestion time than large ones. If you’re concerned about toxicity, make sure you follow these precautions: