If you love watching birds fluttering about with excitement in your garden or at the park when there’s food on offer, chances are that you will have given them some of your leftovers at some point. And while some foods from our kitchen are fine to offer to birds, many of these foods cause them more harm than good. So here, we look at what not to feed wild birds and suggest what you can give them instead!
Many foods are unhealthy and can even be toxic to wild birds
In the past, we have talked about what birds eat and what bird food to choose for wild birds. And now we are looking at what not to feed wild birds. The foods listed below are common in most people’s kitchens, and although we love them, they are not ideal for birds’ diets.
These foods don’t offer birds any nutritional benefits and can even cause them harm.
Firstly, you should stay away from low-quality bird food! Cheap bird food usually contains wheat and commercial fillers, which bulk up the mix. Most cheap bird food mixes have up to 60% filler, and this fills birds’ bellies and may satisfy their hunger but offers no nutritional benefit!
Secondly, you should avoid giving them human foods that contain high quantities of fat, salt, or sugar. Foods containing these can cause birds serious health problems and make their lives more difficult.
Food you shouldn’t feed to wild birds
Fruits with seeds or pits
While it’s OK to offer wild birds most fruits, it’s essential to avoid giving them fruits with seeds or pits. But if you give them fruits like apples, pears, apricots, or peaches, then remove the seeds beforehand.
Wild birds cannot digest milk; unfortunately, if they do, it will lead to an upset stomach or more serious health problems. So please, do not leave a bowl or tray of milk out for birds as it’s not good for them.
Instead, it is best to offer them a dish of fresh water or provide them with a bird bath (which they drink from and bathe in).
Just like humans, birds find chocolate hard to turn down. However, chocolate is toxic to birds and will give them bad health issues and may even kill them! For this reason, it would be best if you never offered any chocolate to birds.
Avocados may be a superfood for humans, but they are not suitable for birds! This is because they contain a fatty and acidic substance they cannot digest. This presents a wide range of health problems and can even be fatal.
Is it ok to feed birds bread?
Although bread isn’t harmful to birds, it is best to offer it in small quantities as it has a very low nutritional value. Wild birds require highly nutritious foods to help maintain their active lifestyles, and bread fills their bellies, leaving no space for beneficial bird food.
Small amounts of bread won’t do wild birds any harm, but instead, you could offer them much better food. High-quality wild bird food mixes benefit their diet and help them overcome their daily tasks.
What better options are there for wild birds?
High-quality bird food is the best food you can offer wild birds. Bird food seed mixes give your garden birds a blend of healthy, nutritious, and tasty food to fuel their busy lifestyles.
Our Birdkind bird food contains beneficial ingredients to their diets and gives them energy for foraging, mating, and nest building. All our bird food mixes also come with our 100% wheat and filler-free promise – ensuring your garden birds get the best quality food.
- Winter Wellness: This bird food is packed with calories that provide a long-lasting energy boost. Created to feed birds in autumn/winter, this seed mix benefits wild birds during the colder months.
- Robin Ready: This mix has been created with songbirds in mind. It’s loaded with soft and small, kibbled ingredients that give soft-billed birds a nutritious, beneficial, easy-to-eat food source.
- Four Season Feast: This bird food mix is a beneficial all-season bird food that provides birds with essential nutrients, oils, and fats that they require. This food mix appeals to a wide range of UK garden birds, like finches, tits, sparrows, and robins. And it has been created to blend perfectly into their feeding routines and daily nutrient requirements.
- Summer Glow: The Summer Glow mix is a highly nutritious bird food that has been designed to offer wild birds the essential nutrients that the busy spring and summer months present. This food mix is also ideal for use throughout the year and gives birds the important everyday nutrition they require.
- Everyday Essentials: Offers a tasty and energising treat for all; it features a blend of husked and non-husked seeds, which encourages a variety of birds, big and small, to feed.
Our food mixes are ideal for use with seed feeders, bird tables, feeding platforms and bird feeding stations.
We have more advice on what wild bird feeders to choose, how to keep your bird feeders clean, as well as a guide on how to best store bird food, and even advise on how to feed robins in your garden.