Backyard bird watching is fun for the whole family. Make it even more enjoyable by making homemade bird food for your backyard birds! You can even make homemade bird feeders to go with your homemade bird seed mix.
I love feeding the birds in our backyard. During the winter, I love knowing that we can provide them a source of food and the pops of color against the wintry white backdrop is beautiful.
But feeding them during springtime and early summer is even better. Because a lot of our birds migrate for the winter, we don't see as much variation during the colder months. When spring returns though, the bright primary colored birds return. I could probably spend hours staring outside, waiting for them to show up.
While bird seed can be somewhat inexpensive if you wait around for the right deal, I've actually found it's cheaper to make your own homemade bird food. Not only is it less expensive, but you can also customize it to the types of birds you want to attract.
If you're wanting to make your own homemade bird food, there’s a good chance you already have everything you need (and even a simple bird feeder!)
How to Make Homemade Bird Food
Most wild birds like to eat seeds, grains, fruits, and fat. Many also enjoy bugs, but you probably already have those in your yard.
To make your own homemade bird seed, simply combine the bird-friendly items that you have on hand. Use mostly seeds and grains, with moderate amounts of fruits and fats.
Here are some things you put in your bird seed mix that you probably already have in your kitchen:
- Wheat or flour
- Corn meal or corn bread mix
- Flax Seeds
- Stale bread/bread crumbs
- Crushed crackers
- Sunflower seeds
- Melon or squash seeds
- Raisins or other dried fruits
There's no specific formula – it all depends on what your birds in your area like. Test out a few things and see what they like!
If you're looking for a basic bird seed blend to start with, you could start with a simple homemade bird food recipe that consists of:
- 1 cup of whole wheat flower
- 1 cup corn meal
- 1 cup of sunflower seeds
- Seeds from one watermelon
Just combine all of the ingredients together and then store until you're ready to add it to your bird feeder! (Consider these bird seed dispensers for storage!)
How to Make Simple Homemade Bird Feeders
Now that you have your own homemade bird food blend, it’s time to offer it to your neighborhood birds. If you don’t already have a bird feeder, there are several ways to make homemade bird feeders with simple materials.
Pine Cone Bird Feeder
Spread peanut butter on a pinecone and roll it in bird seed mix. Use string to hang it up outside. This is an easy and fun activity for kids, too.
Plate Bird Feeder
Use macrame style tying or carefully drill small holes in a glass plate to hang it up outside. Just keep the bird feeder filled with birdseed.
Toast Bird Feeder
Toast bread until it is very dry and spread it with peanut butter on both sides. Apply peanut butter and then dip in birdseed so that the entire surface is covered. Carefully punch a hole in the bread with a small utensil and hang it up outside with string. The birds will devour the whole thing!
Benefits of Attracting Birds to Your Yard
There are many reasons to enjoy having wild birds in your yard. Here’s why you should attract them:
Birdwatching is educational. Wild birds are beautiful, and learning to identify them can be a great educational experience for people of all ages.
The sounds of birds are relaxing and stress-relieving. It’s one of the most widely reported sounds to be calming and relaxing, enjoyed by people all over the world.
Birds eat pests. Many eat mosquitos and garden-enemies like aphids, so they serve as a natural pest killer – no toxic chemicals needed!
Weed control. Birds will eat many seeds that might otherwise take root and grow into weeds in your yard.
Wildlife conservation. Creating a safe, attractive environment for your local native wild birds helps preserve the ecosystem in a time when many habitats are at risk of damage and destruction.
If you want to learn how to identify the birds that appear in your yard, keep a bird identification book on hand.