Bird Food Types: A Quick Guide To Bird Feeding

Feeding the colorful and fun-loving, feathered-friends is an experience that brings joy to many pet owners or bird watchers. Knowing the best bird food types helps keep your winged friends cheerful and healthy. It’s even more effective in keeping their stomachs full.

bird feeder
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What is a bird food called?

Bird foods are commonly known as bird seeds. It is a group of nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and vegetables eaten by birds to achieve healthy living. The bird foods depend on the bird species and nutritional needs. All birds need a healthy balance of foods to keep their health and well-being. They need essential foods that contain vitamins and nutrients to maintain or develop their physical condition.

Feeding the birds can be addicting, especially when you are in a rural area. It can be made a habitual routine for you and could become a relaxing activity. Moreover, you can still enjoy feeding birds even while living in big cities. However, it might depend on the bird and the time of the year. Some birds eat berries, seeds, insects, eggs, small mammals, fish, buds, larvae, nuts, and many other foods suitable for their preferences.

The making of birdseed is a simple manufacturing process. The first stage of production includes the gathering of seeds, fruits, and grains. These make up the variety of mixtures from processors. The second stage involves the packing of materials that are ready to ship from the customers. To ensure safe and high-quality production, bird food manufacturers regularly inspect the raw materials and finished products during each phase.

What do birds eat?

bird food types different seeds

One of the things humans and birds have in common is we both like to try different varieties of foods. Sharing some fresh meal for a bird can be a significant bonding experience. Birds need proper meals that will nourish their development. A bird’s health condition has something to do with the foods that they eat.  Lack of vitamins and minerals can lead to urgent health conditions. We must be aware that birds are fragile and sensitive. A healthy bird diet is not expensive and time-consuming as long as you want the best for them.  But a bird still has its food preferences, and that is for you to find out. There are also alternatives like packed foods with beneficial nutrients.

Food for Backyard Birds

Backyard birds can eat live foods such as insects, worms, ants, aphids, and grubs. These are great news for gardeners as they don’t need the help of a pest control team. It is helpful for gardeners as they won’t be needing expensive chemicals to avoid insects. Birds like freshly caught bugs during summer and spring.

Bananaquits, Finches, Hummingbirds, Honeyeaters, Lorikeets, Chickadees, and Flowerpeckers birds eat nectar. It contains sweet, nutritious, energy-rich liquid produced by some flowers. Shrubs that produce berries or seeds are also delicious for bird’s taste buds.

Nuts and Fruits for Additional Nutrients

Nuts are additional nutrients for a bird.  It has many nutritional benefits. Birds appreciate nuts in such a way that it can be their delicious treats. Fruits are also essential for a bird’s healthy diet. Fruits like bananas, mango, pomegranate, and apples are the dominant fruits for the bird. These fruits individually provide must-need vitamins for their physical and mental health.

Supplemental foods can be great food for birds. There are many types of bird feeders to choose from, including hopper, tube, and platform designs, as well as specialized bird feeders for foods like fruit, jelly, or nectar. Birds can also eat on a plate or even on the ground. Using different bird feeders can help them be familiar with the variety of foods. Offer instant choices of natural foods and nutritional supplements. Options can attract species of birds. It also provides balanced nutrition.

Is bread bad for birds?

Bird Food Types - bread

Bread is not really harmful to birds. However, it only provides a relatively low nutritional value, and some bread is processed and contains chemicals and preservatives that are not suitable for birds. A bird should only eat small portions of bread since it doesn’t fill the standard healthy diet for a bird’s energy. A bread diet for birds is inappropriate for these little creatures as they can starve and a sudden vitamin deficiency might occur.

Still, there is an organically made bread with minimal preservatives like whole-grain and multi-grain bread.  Adding peanut butter to the sandwich makes it more nutritious as it contains nuts. You can also add grape or apple jelly or orange marmalade. But always keep in mind that you only need to serve small portions, and it is best to serve as a morning meal.

What food is best for small birds?

Now that you know the proper foods for small birds, you would also want to know which is the best for them.

Cereals as bird food

You can never go wrong with eating Cereals. It is one of the essential foods for humans in the morning, and the same goes for the birds. The Cereal should be dry and unsweetened. Never attempt to put it in milk as it can result in digestive problems. The best choice for cereals is whole-grains. It contains nutrients essentials for energy.


Birds love rice and whole-wheat bread. Feeding a small bird with bread needs discipline. It should only be a small portion. Bread is not enough to supply the proper nutrients that a bird should eat. Some bread contains additives chemicals that are bad for the little bird’s health.


It may sound unusual, but these little-cute birds can go along with the pasta. Small birds can slurp them up just like humans. Cooked plain pasta or rice is another source of carbohydrates for tiny birds. To remove any oil or salt, wash them thoroughly and cut into small pieces.


All kinds of fresh vegetables are essential for small birds. Vegetables like squash, broccoli, beets, peas, green beans, and zucchini are the bird’s favorite vegetable treats. It contains dietary fiber, folate (folic acid), vitamin A, and vitamin C necessary to boost the bird’s immune system.

Bird Pellets

Bird pellets are better than seeds for small birds because they are more nutritionally vital for bird’s diets. These pellets contain Vitamin D3 and calcium that are essential nutrients for breeding. Feed a little bird for about sixty to eighty percent of his diet, and the rest should consist of table foods.


For a small bird’s treat, you can only provide a small portion of fruits. Any type of fruit is fine with tiny birds as long as it is soft and small. Fruits like apples, cherries, oranges, blueberries, raspberries, and grapes are a few fruits that can provide the amount of vitamins that small birds need.

What is better seed or pellets for my bird?

A pet owner should have curiosity in dealing with their bird’s health condition. Pet birds have a complex diet requirement. They can also experience nutrient deficiencies if feeding was inappropriate. If you seek assistance from a veterinarian, they would recommend pellets better than seeds for a bird’s diet. Pellets provide a much better balance of nutrients than bird seeds. 

Pellet is recommended

A pellet is a highly recommended base for a bird’s healthy diet. It contains balanced and nutritionally blends of grains, seeds, fruits, and vegetables that provide the needed vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, and other nutrients.

However, some pellets have artificial colors and other additives that don’t add nutritional value. These colors can add interest to the bird’s food preference as they can be appealing to their eyes.


In buying a pellet, it is essential to check first the quality ingredient list. Pellets also provide less mess than seeds, which produce dirt everywhere. Some birds are used to eating bird seeds. It’s hard to change their habitual foods, especially if it is their favorites. Transitioning seeds to pellet diets requires patience. It’s better to start feeding your bird pellets as early as possible.

Always check your bird’s health and behavior towards foods. If you start to notice problems or they are acting strange lately, consult your veterinarian. 

What food attracts different birds?

bird food attracting birds

1. Corn

Cracked corn is available in different sizes individually and as a seed mixture. It is an economical type of grain and readily available in pet shops and numerous gardens. It is a good source of both oils and starch. Coarsely chopped corn is the most attractive corn food to birds. You can mix blended corn with other seeds optionally.

2. Sunflower seed as bird food

Sunflower seed is a naturally high fat, high oil seed that many birds can eat. The striped sunflowers’ hulls are thicker than black oil sunflower seed. It makes it more difficult to swallow for birds with weaker bills. There are also two types of sunflower seeds. They are in the same mix that you can purchase in pet stores.

3. Millet

This popular food is available in both red and white varieties. It is smaller than rice. This food provides protein, fiber, and fat suitable for a bird’s healthy living. You can place it in small tubes or plate feeders. Sprinkle the seed to the ground, and ground-feeding species would love to eat them.

4. Black oil sunflower seeds

These black oil sunflower seeds are attractive for different bird species. It is available without other bird seeds mixed in. What makes it appealing to birds is that this can be like seed cakes, blocks, hearts, and bells. These seeds have a high oil content for the majority of bird species. Birds will enjoy the feast by sprinkling it to the ground.

5. Nyjer seed as bird food

nyjer seed

Nyjer is more expensive than larger seeds. However, it is of good economic value. This oil-rich, high-fat, high-protein seed is known for different bird species. To attract birds by offering Nyjer, choose the right feeders with a small mesh size or feeding holes to release the seeds without spilling them. Sock-like soft mesh feeders or more durable metallic mesh feeders may be appropriate.

Final Words

For pet birds, if you are having a hard time attracting them with new foods. You can offer a wide variety of natural and supplemental foods to provide well-rounded nutrition. A new feeder can also help them when you want to transition foods with the latest flavors or add more bird feeders. Avoid giving chocolates to your parakeets.

They can learn to notice the food. Always clean bird breeders, ground-feeding stations, and feeding areas to prevent seed shells or excrement. It may harm the bird’s health condition as it has contamination and can lead to possible disease outbreaks. Always provide water, comfortable shelter, and other basic needs that are necessary for survival.

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