can birds eat lentils and split peas

Offering birds alternatives to traditional backyard bird food can help you save money on birdseed and offer birds food of nutritional value during times of scarcity. This article will show you the basics of feeding backyard birds, kitchen scraps, and pantry grains.

Backyard birds can eat kitchen scraps and pantry grains that otherwise would be thrown away. Food from the pantry, such as old beans, lentils, garbanzo beans, rice, wheat, and other grains, can be crushed and fed to wild birds.

What do birds eat?

Various species of birds eat the following, according to Celebrate Urban Birds:

  • Seeds
  • Berries
  • Fruit
  • Insects
  • Other birds
  • Eggs
  • Small mammals
  • Fish
  • Buds
  • Larvae
  • Aquatic invertebrates
  • Acorns
  • Other nuts
  • Aquatic vegetation
  • Grain
  • Dead animals
  • Garbage
  • And much more

However, not every one of these foods is meant for the songbirds you may wish to have in your yard. Celebrate Urban Birds states that songbirds’ main spring and summertime food sources are insects and spiders. Birds that stay put in the fall and winter generally consume fruits and seeds.

If you’re buying birdseed for your garden birds, avoid mixtures containing split peas, beans or dried rice, as well as pink or green lumps, which are likely dog biscuits. These ingredients are often added to cheaper seed mixes to bulk them up, but they are not edible for many birds, according to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Birds more likely to eat kitchen scraps and pantry grains

We must learn what kinds of foods backyard birds eat in order to identify which ones are more likely to consume kitchen scraps and crushed pantry grains.

Grain and seed eaters make up the majority of birds that visit backyard feeders, followed by diet generalists. Only a small percentage of backyard birds consume fruit, and only hummingbirds and, to a lesser extent, orioles consume nectar.

Grain eaters include goldfinches, finches, buntings, grosbeaks, and native sparrows. These birds are less likely to try new foods and have particular food preferences.

Pigeons, grackles, crows, starlings, blue jays, house sparrows, and quails, on the other hand, have more adaptable diets and consume a greater range of food types. Because of their adaptable digestive systems, these birds are more likely to consume kitchen scraps, crushed grains, and nuts.

Preparing to offer birds alternative kitchen foods

Your alternate bird feeding strategy will be easier to plan if you are aware of the kinds of birds that visit your feeders. Kitchen scraps and crushed grains will probably go uneaten if you only get selective eaters rather than generalist birds. However, if you have regular flocking birds, they will probably eat the food you provide.

Installing a platform feeder is advised if you want to start giving your birds kitchen scraps; ideally, it will be on or near the ground, where the majority of diet-generalist birds forage.

Offering kitchen scraps to backyard birds take preparation and persistence. Kitchen food may be ignored for a few days or even weeks after you put it outside, depending on the kind of birds that come to your yard. Gather and dispose of this food at the end of each day. Once one or two birds sample the new food, the rest of the birds usually follow suit.

can birds eat lentils and split peas


Can you give lentils to birds?

The cheapest bird seed blends are often mostly fillers from a variety of grains which are only suitable for larger birds. You should avoid seed mixtures that have split peas, beans, dried rice or lentils as only the large birds can eat them dry.

Can birds eat split peas?

You shouldn’t be feeding split peas to wild birds unless you are targeting larger species, like pigeons and doves and larger. Smaller birds can’t digest them dry. You’re just wasting food.

Can birds and squirrels eat uncooked lentils?

Uncooked Split Peas, Dried Beans, Rice and LentilsThese foods are extremely dry and can only be digested by larger species. However, cooked rice is a good option and will be enjoyed by many birds. Avoid poor quality bird mixes as these can feature split peas and lentils.

Do wild birds eat dried beans?

Uncooked beans–the dry beans in the sack–should never be fed to birds. Dry beans contain hemagglutinin which can be deadly to birds. First, cook the beans before feeding them to birds–they’re a good source of fiber and protein.