What NOT To Feed Birds

Love your birds by not feeding them toxic foods. Birds visit your feeder more often in the winter. That is because foods like insects, berries, and seeds are not readily available. If you want to keep them coming back, do not kill them with bad food offerings. Here are some main foods to avoid at your feeder.

No Salt 

This includes salty snacks like chips, crackers, nuts, and any processed foods high in salt. A little salt is fine, but, just like humans, a lot of salt can be toxic. Too much causes stress on the heart. It can also leach calcium from the body. That may lead to thinner egg shells during brooding. If you want to offer something other than birdseed, serve up plain, air-popped popcorn with no salt.

Chocolate Kills

Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine both of which can be toxic to birds. Medicinal uses in humans include a diuretic and a heart stimulator. Due to a bird’s size ingesting even a small amount can be lethal. This can lead to digestive, heart, and breathing issues.

Bread, Not So Much

Most breads offer no nutritional value to birds.  A bit of bread will do no harm adding only  empty calories. If you want to put bread at your feeder, use whole grains. Better yet, add a smear of peanut butter (unsalted) dotted with hulled sunflower seed.

Never Dried Beans

The chemical toxin hemagglutinin found in dried beans is fatal to birds. It can cause diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and nausea. When the beans are cooked the chemical breaks down making them safe for birds to eat. Cooked beans contain good amounts of nutrients including fiber, iron, proteins, and carbohydrates. Birds prefer whole lentil beans, garbanzo beans, mung beans, and adzuki beans.

Spoiled Birdseed Stinks

Seed spoils quickly, especially when it gets wet. Rotten seed can transfer diseases through mold and fungus. You should discard any seed that is clumped together, moldy, or has pungent odors. Check that feeder seed and clean the feeder frequently. You should change it after a rain or keep it dry.

Really Avoid These

Some other foods to avoid include avocado, bacon, coffee beans, apple seeds, fruit pits, onions, and mushrooms. Each can cause digestive disorders or death. Check a reliable source like The Humane Society for more information. 

Remember to avoid salty foods, anything chocolate, most breads, and any dried bean. Change that feeder seed often.  Show your love for birds by providing wholesome, nutritious foods. Happy feeder watching!

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