Bird Food Recipes for Winter

Make Your Own Bird Food

Bird Food Winter
Cornell Labs

Here are some great homemade bird food recipes that can be used at any time of the year, but especially in the cold winter months, when natural resources are scarce.

For many of us, it’s a great joy to watch and study our feathered friends. In the winter, experts maintain the best way to birdwatch is in a comfortable chair by the window. By keeping a feeder stocked with bird food, you can attract birds that will stay with you until spring. 

Is it Good to Feed the Birds in Winter?

Rest assured that it’s fine to feed birds during the cold winter months. Supplemental food actually helps birds during especially tough winters—and this will not affect bird migration. A number of factors trigger the urge for birds to migrate, but the most significant one is day length. When the days get shorter, certain birds move on, regardless of whether there are still filled feeders available for them. 

Bird Food Recipes

If you really want to impress your avian friends, here are a few recipes you can concoct:

Jack Dudley’s Woodpecker Pudding
A suet–peanut butter concoction that will drive all the wild birds, well, wild!

Fine-Feathered Entree
Packed with nuts and seeds, this mix is a feathered-friend favorite.

Junco Cornbread
This simple baked cornbread is quite literally for the birds—and boy, do they enjoy it!

A simple suet recipe that is beloved by woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees, and many more backyard birds.

Bird-Feeding Advice

What’s most important is that you keep birds safe by keeping your bird feeders clean. Scrub out feeders with a 10 percent non-chlorinated bleach solution at least a few times a year, and certainly between seasons. Remove suet in hot weather because it may spoil quickly.

See our Wild Bird Food chart for more information on what different types of birds eat. Also make sure you choose a birdfeeder that fits the bird species you wish to attract!

Plus, here’s some advice for growing plants with seeds to feed the birds.

Do you feed the birds in your backyard? Who’s your favorite winged visitor? Tell us about them in the comments below!


The 1984 Old Farmer's Almanac

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Honey is NOT good for bird’s

Honey is NOT good for bird’s due it's bacteria growth and can be fatal to Birds

Anna's Hummingbirds typically

Anna's Hummingbirds typically over winter in this area...I have one or two pair that stay in my yard all winter. I keep a saucer style feeder under the eaves, beneath a spotlight that keeps the food liquid and warm all thru the icy months.

Hi Sharon, i live about 25

Hi Sharon, i live about 25 miles south of Seattle, and also see a hummingbird (or two) that do not migrate. I have winter blooming jasmine its yellow, and they love it. I love that its a natural food for them, that i don't have to thaw :)

What little I know about

What little I know about hummingbirds is that most of them migrate in the winter months. And the way to tell if it is male or female is by looking at it's tail. When the tail is open females will have white in each outer corner. I feed my hummers in the winter also, but I don't thaw the feed or anything and they seem to do just fine.

I have alot of hummingbirds

I have alot of hummingbirds in my back yard. For the past 2 years, they all leave in the winter, except for 1. Don't know if it's a male or female, but I make sure the feeders are always full.When it freezes, I go out before it gets light and and bring the feeders in to warm them so it always has food.Is there a reason this little one doesn't go with the rest? I worry about it when we have winter storms here. We live about 25 miles north of Seattle.

I live south of Seattle and

I live south of Seattle and feed Anna's Hummingbirds all winter...they actually do over winter in this area. I keep a feeder under the eaves beneath a spot light that warms the area and the flat saucer style feeder so it never freezes.