how to feed small birds

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From dawn until dusk, feed baby birds every 15 to 20 minutes. Any food that is high in protein will do; anything from insects to seeds and berries will work as long as it is protein-rich. When feeding it, drop the food into its mouth with narrow chopsticks or dull tweezers. If the bird’s mouth isn’t open, use the tweezers to tap its beak to indicate that it should. Keep feeding the baby until it becomes reluctant to eat. Read on to learn how our Veterinary reviewer determines the kind of care a baby bird requires!

How do I keep birds from colliding with windows?

Birds may become confused by windows that reflect the sky and surrounding trees or are extremely transparent, leading them to perceive a clear flight path instead of an obstruction.

Place feeders either more than 30 feet away from a window or closer than 3 feet to avoid collisions. A feeder three feet or less from a window keeps a bird from gaining enough momentum for a deadly collision, while one thirty feet or more away from a window offers protection from perplexing reflections.

Altering the appearance of your window helps, too. Hang streamers or use soap to create a scene outside the window. Additionally, you can space four inches apart static-cling decals that prevent bird strikes; some of these decals even reflect ultraviolet light that humans cannot see but that birds can see. If crashes persist, cover your windows with thin garden netting made of plastic to increase the odds that a bird making a wrong turn will survive. Make your backyard a safe place for wildlife.

Regardless of the size of your outdoor area, you can make it a refuge for nearby wildlife. You can change things in your own backyard by meeting basic needs like food, water, and shelter.

What bird foods should I offer?

Always keep cats inside, and don’t forget to provide the right food for the season from a clean feeder that is kept a safe distance from windows.

Winter (when natural foods are less abundant)

  • Black-oil sunflower seeds are small and have thin shells that are easy for small birds to crack open. They are high in fat, making them a good source of energy.
  • White Proso Millet: high in protein content
  • Peanuts: Provide in peanut-specific metal mesh feeders in the form of tubes; for peanut hearts, use a feeder with smaller apertures.
  • Commercially produced suet cakes, which come in vegetarian options as well, fit the standard-size suet feeder.
  • To prevent the nyjer seed from spilling out, use a tube feeder with tiny holes for goldfinches.
  • Medium-sized cracked corn is best because finer varieties will soon become mushy and coarser varieties are too big for small-beaked birds to eat.


  • For spring feeding, a variety of birdseed varieties are good options, but you may also think about providing fruit for songbirds. (If you use fruit, make sure to take out any spoiled or leftover pieces.) Moreover, you can provide baked and rinsed crushed eggshells, which give birds like robins calcium.
  • It’s nesting season in the spring, so you can provide natural materials like twigs, small sticks, straw, and other plant materials (e.g., g. moss, bark strips, pine needles, leaves, stems, cottontail fluff, cottonwood down, grass, or yard trimmings (as long as they are free of fertilizer and pesticides) Offer only natural materials, such as acrylic yarn, that birds might naturally come across.
  • Over 90% of songbirds depend on insects to feed their young during the spring and summer breeding seasons. For adult birds, you can still provide feeders, but insects are essential to the survival of nestlings and fledglings. Insecticide use should be completely avoided or drastically reduced as it may hinder adult birds from finding enough insects to feed their young.


Limit to nyjer seed for goldfinches and nectar for hummingbirds (refer to these guidelines).

When giving out feed during the hot and muggy summer months, be sure to keep the seed dry. The seed may release poisons that are toxic to birds if it becomes moldy. To prevent the bird seed from sitting for extended periods of time, try filling feeders halfway or less!


Offer millet, peanuts, peanut butter and suet cakes.


What is the best food for small birds?

When buying bird food, try to get a good mix of peanuts, seeds and live food like mealworms and waxworms. Fruit, especially bruised apples and pears, will be popular with thrushes and Blackbirds. Household scraps like pastry, cooked rice and breadcrumbs should only be offered in small amounts occasionally.

How often do small birds need to eat?

Small birds process their food faster than large birds. Seeds take longer to digest than soft fruit. The number of meals per day, or times the stomach is filled daily, has been estimated by various ornithologists at eight times a day for seed-eaters, six to seven for birds on an insect diet.