Tips for feeding birds affordably

Suet bird feederWith the price of black-oil sunflower seeds soaring and ornithologists reminding us that birds hate cheap bags of birdseed, there’s a growing concern that feeding wild birds is getting too expensive. Since it’s nearing the time of year when birds actually benefit the most from eating at bird feeders, here are some tips for feeding birds while not breaking your pocketbook.

1. Plant native wildflowers or sunflowers

A great way to provide nourishment to the birds in your yard is to plant your own wildflowers or sunflowers. Not only are these more natural, but you also won’t have to keep buying bags and bags of sunflower seeds. This will also spruce up your yard while making it the perfect destination for an array of birds looking for a meal.

2. Try a variety of bird food, not just sunflower seed

While black-oil sunflower seeds are probably nutritionally the best for certain birds, others enjoy different or cheaper types of food. For example, bluebirds love mealworms while grackles and quails love cracked corn. Peanuts are another alternative to attract birds like sparrows, doves, cardinals and more.

3. Give certain table scraps to the birds

You obviously don’t want to feed your backyard birds only table scraps, but in the winter when food becomes scarcer table scraps are a great option. You can also supplement some of their regular food with a few table scraps. Some good scraps to give your birds include potatoes, over-ripe fruit, cheese, egg shells, old cereal, crumbs of baked goods and more. However, remember to clean up after the birds have eaten everything they want or you might get some unexpected visitors as well.

4. Buy in bulk

When you buy wild bird food in bulk, you’re more likely to get a better deal and save more money.

5. Ration the amount of food you give out

Another less desirable way to be more frugal is to ration the amount of food you give out. When your feeder runs low, you might wait a little longer to refill it, though you should keep in mind this sometimes keeps birds away.

6. Make your own bird treats

Just like those times when you were young and made pine cones smeared with peanut butter, you can make your own bird food for cheaper. For example, you can make your own suet from bacon grease and other things like raisins and peanuts.

19 thoughts on “Tips for feeding birds affordably”

  1. I use bread scraps, leftovers seeds that my cockateil will not eat, stir in peanut butter and cornmeal, leftover chinese noodles, anthing they can pick out of a suet feeder and they really love it. Cooked carrots, squash and pumpkin are also great favorites
    .

  2. I buy unsalted peanuts from Costco. They are just a little over a dollar a pound and my wild birds love them. I mix them with a mixed seed and black oil sunflower seeds. I also break them in half to make twice as many for the Jays. Otherwise they just carry off the whole peanut and you don’t get to watch them at all.

  3. Be careful when feeding peanuts. They must be roasted or they can be toxic to the birds.
    Also if you can find a butcher and ask for slabs of fat. Run a metal clothes hanger through it, hang for instant suet.

    1. If you can find a company that makes peanut butter, call them and see if they have any outdated pb. If they do, they will probably give it to you. I got several cases one year like that. I am still using it for making suet. My birds are picky. They will not eat suet I buy at the store, but they love the suet I make.

    1. Hello Patsy. That’s somewhat of a myth. It’s not the bread that swells and chokes birds, but it’s possible for bacteria from really old and moldy foods to cause that to happen. However, bread is probably not the healthiest thing to give to birds, but it’s OK for an occasional scrap or so.

  4. I have heard that you can feed birds chicken scratch. Is that correct? Also, what can I do to keep sunflower seeds from germinating when I feed seeds to the birds? Would baking or microwaving them for a few minutes help?

    1. Well, I have tried every thing including tobacco juice- you take chewing tobacco and soak it in white Vinegar and water (equal Parts) and spray it on the ground along with some liquid soap- But I found I almost need to do it every day. Well, my husband treats out side around our shrubs with Preen and well he did it under the feeders without me even knowing, it does work because it doesn’t let a seed Germinate- Also, I haven’t found any dead birds lying around I figured that the small amount that he uses every 8- 12 weeks must not be too toxic. for the floor feeders. So, unfortunately

      1. Please don’t put that toxic stuff around the birds! Seeds fall on the ground and the birds eat it. No bird is going to fall over dead at the same time they ingest the horrible poison in Preen.. It takes a while and makes them very sick and they die slowly… Why not buy cracked sunflower seeds they won’t germinate and then you won’t have to buy the poison… (Plus the poison gets into the groundwater killing vegetation and causing algae growth.. plus killing fish.. bad stuff all around.)

  5. Hi! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new project
    in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us valuable information to
    work on. You have done a wonderful job!

  6. Lake Macquarie is a lake on the Central Coast part of New South Wales, to the North along
    the coast from Sidney, Australia. I’m going to continue going there three times
    a week, this time doing the workout of they day instead of
    the beginners course. The opportunity to make money out
    of sports coaching can be extensive and can of course be very useful in a situation
    where you do not need a full time job but you do still need some form of income.

    Take a look at my blog :: Personal Tainer Scherrillville Indiana

  7. So if you have ever asked yourself “What is the fastest way to make money. Why do you want to earn extra money through a medium such as the internet. This is a legitimate way to make real money from home.

  8. 白人っぽくはなくなるけど
    あまり美味しそうじゃないな 変なノイズ入ってる気がするけど画像いじってないの? 「瞳が大きく見える」などの理由で10~20代女性に人気のカラーコンタクトレンズ(カラコン)で
    俺的には女子よりも男性社員に増えてきているヒゲを何とかしてほしいわ

    4月予定と聞いてるだけじゃね?新チームで振り覚える時間なさすぎ 自然なカラコン
    ドンキ これ ▽会いたかったあの人にご対面…ラスト変顔に高橋&横山も感動

  9. Hey there! I’ve been following your weblog for a
    long time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Huffman Tx!
    Just wanted to say keep up the fantastic work!

  10. Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this website.

    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s very
    difficult to get that “perfect balance” between superb usability and visual appearance.
    I must say you’ve done a amazing job with this. Additionally,
    the blog loads exdtremely quick for me on Chrome.
    Superb Blog!

    My page; Monument Capital Group

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>