Feeding Birds in Winter: Best 12 Winter Foods for Your Birds

Feeding birds in winter is an enjoyable activity that provides entertainment and a sense of satisfaction. Not only will it bring you closer to nature, but it may also help your local feathered friends survive the cold season. With just a few simple steps, bird feeding can be easy and fun for the whole family.

First, decide what types of food to offer. Different birds prefer different foods; therefore, selecting a variety that appeals to many birds is essential. Suitable foods include sunflower seeds, nuts, dried fruit, and suet cakes or mealworms for insect-eating birds like woodpeckers. Place your feeders in a safe spot easily accessible for birds and out of reach from cats or other predators.

How are you Feeding Birds in Winter?

As winter approaches, the concern for birds’ well-being increases. We must ensure that our feathered friends are adequately fed during the colder months when food sources become scarce. Feeding birds in winter can be easy and rewarding for both you and the birds!

Not only does feeding birds keep them safe from hunger, but it also makes watching these creatures a more enjoyable experience. From suet cakes to seed mixes and other bird-specific snacks, many options are available to feed your feathered friends, depending on what species are visiting your backyard or Local Park.

Many simple DIY recipes can be created using common ingredients at home. Not only will this provide much-needed sustenance for our avian companions, but it can also be a fun activity for families hoping to bond with nature while staying safe indoors during cold weather.

Feeding Birds in Winter

What are the Best Winter Bird Foods?

Winter can be a difficult season for birds, as many of the natural food sources they rely on in warmer months are scarce. Providing them with bird seed and other winter treats is critical to ensure your feathered friends have enough to eat when temperatures drop and food is harder to find.

High Fat

Focusing on high-fat options for the best winter bird foods would be best. High-fat foods provide birds with calories that can help them battle the cold temperatures of winter. Bird feeders full of high-fat treats like suet cakes, peanuts, and sunflower seeds are a great way to attract wild birds during the colder months.

Suet cakes are famous for wild birds in winter because they provide essential fats for energy and warmth. Peanuts are another excellent source of fat and protein that can help keep wild birds healthy over the winter. Sunflower seeds also contain high levels of fat and other essential vitamins and minerals needed for the health and well-being of many species of backyard birds.

Black Sunflower Seeds

Black sunflower seeds are an excellent winter bird food that can help keep your feathered friends well-fed, healthy, and warm. A great source of protein, fat, and fiber, black sunflower seeds provide a wide range of health benefits for birds throughout the winter season.

Black sunflower seeds are high in energy, making them perfect for providing extra nutrition when temperatures drop. The smaller size of these seeds means they’re easy to store and use as a daily snack for birds that can’t find enough natural food sources due to extreme weather conditions. In addition, most species of wild birds love eating black sunflower seeds, so you won’t have trouble finding takers at your backyard feeding station.

Feeding Birds in Winter

Black Oil Sunflower Seeds

With fewer natural food sources available, providing bird feeders with the right food can help ensure your feathered friends stay healthy throughout the cold season. Black oil sunflower seeds are one of the best winter bird foods you can offer.

The small and thin shells of black oil sunflower seeds make them easier to eat than traditional white or striped sunflower seeds, making them highly appealing to various birds—from chickadees and finches to woodpeckers and jays. Their high nutritional content also makes them ideal for sustaining energy levels as temperatures drop; they’re packed with protein, carbohydrates, and fats essential for winter survival.


Cheese is an excellent food for winter birds as it provides much-needed energy and helps them maintain their body temperature. Here we’ll look at what types of cheese are best for winter birds and how to feed them correctly.

Cheese is loaded with protein and fats, essential nutrients for wild birds, particularly during cold weather when finding other food sources can be complex. Suet-based cheeses like Cheshire or Red Leicester are famous for bird lovers due to their high energy content; soft varieties like cream cheese or cottage cheese are good options, as they contain enough proteins and fats without being too hard on the bird’s digestive system.

Mixed Seeds

Winter can be a challenging time for birds. With fewer natural food sources available, providing them with enough energy and nutrition is essential to make it through the season. One of the best winter bird foods is mixed seeds. These seeds are a great source of essential fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals to keep your feathered friends in top condition during the colder months.

Mixed birdseed blends come in wide varieties, such as sunflower seeds, peanuts, millet, and safflower seed. These high-energy foods will help birds build fat reserves for warmth during cold nights. They also contain essential nutrients needed to keep birds healthy throughout the year.


One great option for your birds when winter arrives is fruit. You can buy dried fruits or use fresh seasonal produce such as apples, cranberries, and pears in your bird feeder. Fruits contain high levels of essential vitamins and minerals that help birds stay energized in cold weather, and they also provide much-needed carbohydrates to fuel their body heat production.
You can also add nuts like peanuts or sunflower seeds to your bird feeder, as these provide a good source of protein that helps build up energy reserves during wintertime hibernation and migration.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is high in protein and has healthy fats that provide a great energy source for birds. Its rich flavor makes it an ideal treat throughout the colder months. It’s easy to prepare and can be served independently or mixed with other ingredients such as nuts, raisins, or dried fruit.
You can even spread it onto pine cones or tree branches for birds to feed from directly. Choose natural peanut butter without added sugar or salt for optimal health benefits.


One type of food that birds seek out during the winter is mealworms. Mealworms are protein-rich and full of essential nutrients, making them ideal for sustaining healthy bird populations in your backyard or Local Park.
Mealworms are popular among many species of birds, who enjoy snacking on their nutrient-dense bodies throughout the winter months. Because they’re easy to store in large quantities, mealworms are an accessible yet nutritious source of sustenance for your avian visitors during the colder season.

Cracked Corn

One of the most popular foods for winter birds is cracked corn. This tasty treat can be found in most stores, and it offers a variety of nutrients that are beneficial for birds during the colder months.
Cracked corn is high in carbohydrates, which helps to keep birds warm and energized throughout the winter season.

It also provides protein from its outer coating, which helps to build strong muscles in birds as they prepare for migration or flight in cold weather conditions. Additionally, cracked corn contains essential vitamins like Vitamin A, D3, E, and B12 that help nourish bird feathers and skin while providing an overall energy boost so they can stay healthy all winter long.

White Proso Millet

White proso millet is a tiny round seed that provides several essential nutrients for wild birds. It attracts doves, sparrows, cardinals, buntings, juncos, and many other species of birds. The small size of the seeds makes them easy for smaller birds to handle and swallow, while larger birds can feed on them quickly.
White proso millet is high in fat, which helps keep a bird’s energy levels up during the colder months when they need more calories due to cold temperatures.

Niger Seeds

Niger seed is one of the best seeds to give birds during the winter months as it provides a much-needed source of nutrition. Niger seed is high in oil content and protein, making it an ideal choice for keeping wild birds healthy.

Niger seeds are small black seeds with a unique shape, like tiny teardrops. The size of these seeds makes them popular among finch species such as goldfinches, siskins, and redpolls, with smaller beaks than other types of birds. They can also be enjoyed by larger birds, such as sparrows, doves, and pigeons, who flock to your backyard feeders when they smell these delicious treats!

Dried whole-kernel corn

Dried whole-kernel corn is one of the best foods for your birds during the winter. This simple ingredient provides a high-calorie snack that will help keep them healthy and energized even in the coldest weather.

Dried whole-kernel corn offers an easy way to provide extra nutrients for wild or captivity birds. Scatter some on your lawn or over a bird feeder and watch as they flock to it! Not only does this provide energy at any time of day, but it also helps prevent boredom by providing something new for them to peck at.

What type of feeders works best for winter bird feeding?

Attracting birds to your backyard in the winter can be a tricky task. With temperatures dropping and food sources disappearing, you may wonder what type of feeder works best for winter bird feeding. Fortunately, understanding which type of feeder to use can help you create a dependable spot for wild birds to congregate during the cooler months.

Tube or hopper-style feeders are some of the most popular options for winter bird feeding. They offer ample space for seed and suet while remaining easy to fill and clean. The design also helps keep food fresh while keeping out water, rain, snow, and ice that could otherwise spoil the food supply. Tube and hopper feeders also have built-in perches, allowing multiple birds to eat at once without competing with one another.

Table feeders

Fly-through platform table feeders are among the best options for winter bird feeding. They provide plenty of space for birds to gather and have several features that make them ideal for cold weather conditions. These feeders are typically constructed from heavy-duty materials like cedar or pine, which protect against wind and snow drifts. They also come with covers, insulated seed trays that help keep out moisture, and adjustable legs that allow you to raise or lower the tray depending on your desired height and viewing angle.

hopper feeders

hopper feeders are a favorite among severe birdwatchers for their durability, ease of use, and efficiency in feeding winter birds.

Hopper feeders have strong metal frames with galvanized roofs that keep out rain while allowing good airflow to keep seeds dry and fresh. The seed storage compartments have large openings, making it easy to fill up with different seed mixes that appeal to various species of winter birds, like cardinals, chickadees, and sparrows.

Tube Feeders

Tube feeders are designed with small openings on the sides, which only allow smaller birds, such as chickadees or nuthatches, to access the food inside. This prevents larger birds like crows or pigeons from stealing all the food and leaving none for their smaller counterparts. The enclosed design also protects bird seeds from snow, sleet, rain, and other harsh weather conditions associated with winter months.

Suet Feeder

Feeders are one of the essential tools for winter bird feeding. A suet feeder is an excellent addition to any backyard, as it offers various food options for birds and other wildlife. Providing nutritious, high-energy snacks that birds can’t find elsewhere, suet feeders help keep our feathered friends healthy and happy through the coldest months.

Suet is the main ingredient in most feeders; it’s typically made from lard or beef fat mixed with birdseed, nuts, and berries. This combination creates a rich energy source that attracts many species throughout winter. Suet feeders also come in multiple shapes and sizes to accommodate different types of birds; they can be hung from trees or poles in your yard or attached to fences or decks.


Feeding birds in winter is a crucial way to help them survive the cold season. With some simple preparation and a little knowledge, anyone can make a difference in the lives of our feathered friends. Investing in bird feeders, food, and regular cleaning will ensure the birds are safe and healthy throughout winter. As bird lovers and stewards of nature, we are responsible for looking out for these creatures during their times of need.

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