Buy the 2015 Old Farmer's Almanac!

Wild Bird Food Preferences

What Do You Feed Wild Birds?

What do you feed the birds? Our handy wild bird food chart lists the type of seeds, nuts, and other foods are liked most by different types of birds.

Although birds can find food naturally, it's fine to offer these supplements. During times of extreme weather, extra bird food can provide a nutritional boost and provide a helping hand.

Your reward is the opportunity to attract some feathered friends to your backyard and garden—and enjoy watching wild birds from your window!

Click here for a larger PDF of the below Wild Bird Food Chart.

Read more about how to create a bird-friendly habit.

Learn about choosing the right bird feeders.

More Articles:


We have to take our feeders

By YPmule

We have to take our feeders down in the fall due to the number of bears in our area, but as soon as the bears go into hibernation we put the feeders back up.

I think we feed the birds in

By Larry Rishel

I think we feed the birds in order to enjoy a little life and color during those long winter days. Maybe we do it as much for ourselves as we do for the birds. Either way I enjoy the birds, they enjoy my, win all around!!

Is there a certain date of

By Nancy Hullinger

Is there a certain date of the year that we are suppose to stop feeding wild birds in the northeast section of the USA? Some people think they are able to find their own food. Please answer. Nancy Hullinger

I never stop feeding them,


I never stop feeding them, they can gather their own food. I heard it take the stress of them when feeding little ones in the summer. It's not a must to stop feeding them, it's what u want to do !

speaking only for myself, I


speaking only for myself, I NEVER stop feeding the birds.

I keep about 8 feeders in the yard at all times, & go through about 500 POUNDS of seed a year on average.

I also feed the squirrels, which keeps them out of the bird feed.

It never occurred to me to

By Lassie

It never occurred to me to stop feeding birds. I should think they need food in the winter, even if they do fly around and find their own.

We shovel off the deck and put out a feeder heavy on sunflower seeds, and what a beautiful sight in the winter, blue jays and cardinals, juncos and sparrows. Looks like a Christmas card.

I've found most birds like sunflower seed and peanuts (in shell, or shelled, from a jar). Blue jays pick and choose the peanuts and 'swallow' one in their crops. They will hold a peanut with their toes and peck it open..... Cardinals have tiny beaks but I've watched them wrestle with a shell peanut trying to open it..... Smaller peanuts are eaten by all birds, I think. Unless the squirrels are out and hog all of them.

There's no hard rule. Many

By Almanac Staff

There's no hard rule. Many people choose to feed in the winter when birds' natural food is buried; other folks feed year-round to attract them closer. According to Audubon, feeding doesn't hurt the birds as they get their food from a variety of sources and they will migrate when they need to do, regardless.

Post new comment

Before posting, please review all comments. Due to the volume of questions, Almanac editors can respond only occasionally, as time allows. We also welcome tips from our wonderful Almanac community!

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

2015 Special Edition Garden GuideCooking Fresh with The Old Farmer's AlmanacThe Almanac Monthly Digital MagazineWhat the heck is a Garden Hod?