Feeding Wild Birds in Autumn (Full Guide for Birders)

Autumn is a time for birds to store energy, with natural food sources beginning to diminish as temperatures drop and days become shorter. Providing them with bird feeders full of nutritious, high-energy foods can make all the difference in helping them survive the winter.

Not only will feeding wild birds in autumn help sustain them through the winter, but it can also be a fun activity for birdwatchers and nature lovers. The joy of seeing a variety of colorful species perched upon your feeder or darting between branches is worth every penny spent on seed mixes and suet cakes. Watching these vibrant creatures flit around your yard daily can provide solace when outdoor activities are limited due to cold weather or COVID-19 restrictions.

Feeding Wild Birds in Autumn
Free Bird Feeder Plans

Tips for Feeding Wild Birds in Autumn:

As autumn approaches, birds will begin preparing for the colder months ahead. To help them get through this season, here are some tips for feeding wild birds in autumn.

  • First, providing a variety of foods for wild birds is crucial. In the fall, they will look for high-energy foods such as sunflower seeds and suet to give them energy during cold snaps. Additionally, providing ground feeders with cracked corn or other grain blends can help supplement their diets during this time of year.
  • Second, keep bird feeders filled with fresh food throughout autumn and winter. Cleaning bird feeders once a week and refilling them with fresh food will ensure your feathered friends have enough nourishment while avoiding wasting any potential leftovers from previous days.

Your Backyard During Autumn?

Providing nourishment for hungry birds and feeding them in autumn has many other benefits. For example, when temperatures drop below freezing, bird feeders help provide high-energy food sources, allowing the birds to survive the winter months ahead. Moreover, birds rely on people to supply a variety of seeds and nuts so they can access different kinds of nutrition throughout the year.

Best Autumn Bird Foods:

Many types of food will attract birds this season; some can be found in your backyard. Here are some of the best autumn bird foods to get you started on your way to enjoying all that nature offers.

Black oil Sunflower Seed:

One of the most popular bird food is black oil sunflower seed. This seed’s high nutritional content makes it an attractive option for winged creatures needing sustenance as the weather cools and winter approaches.

Black oil Sunflower seeds are easy for birds to crack open and are rich in fat and protein, which helps them store energy for migration or the long cold months ahead. They also contain many essential vitamins that help keep birds healthy during difficult times when food is scarce. Plus, the seeds come with a thin shell that’s easier to eat than regular sunflower seed shells – birds love this!

Cracked corn:

The crisp autumn nights and leaves crunching beneath your feet are the perfect backdrop for a chilly morning spent bird watching. As the temperatures drop, birds naturally look for more calorie-rich foods to help them get through the winter months. Cracked corn is one of the best bird foods available to offer them during this time of year.

Cracked corn provides birds with a high-energy food source that helps them gain weight quickly in preparation for cold weather. This feed contains compound carbohydrates that provide energy and essential vitamins and minerals necessary for their survival through winter. Adding cracked corn to your bird feeder will attract many species, including doves, cardinals, chickadees, woodpeckers, finches, and more!


Nectar is one of the best foods to provide them with this energy boost, and it should be a staple in any bird feeder during this season.

It can be found in many forms, whether processed bird food or natural sugary substances like ripe fruit or honeydew melon pieces. This type of food helps attract hummingbirds and other insect-eating birds that may come through your area during migration season. Not only will they appreciate the pick-me-up nectar it provides, but you’ll also enjoy watching them come and go from your feeder!


Autumn is a beautiful time of year, with many birds taking advantage of the abundance of food available. Nuts are an important and nutritious part of any bird’s diet this season. They provide energy for migration and winter activities and essential nutrients to help promote strong growth. Here are some suggestions for the best autumn bird foods featuring nuts.

Suet feeders offer nut-based suet recipes that attract birds to your garden. Specifically designed for wild birds, these suet cakes contain dried fruit and rendered beef fat, along with crushed peanuts or sunflower hearts that provide an excellent energy source when temperatures drop. When hung correctly in your yard, these suets will have your feathered friends flocking quickly.


Autumn is a particular time for bird lovers, as many birds migrate south for the winter. During this time of year, keeping your feeders filled with the best foods is especially important to attract and nourish these feathered friends.

Nyjer, known as thistle seed, is a food sure to please. This tiny black seed has a high oil content, making it an excellent energy source for migratory birds. With its mild flavor and high nutritional value, Nyjer can be a beneficial addition to any bird feeder during autumn.
Whether you’re an experienced or novice birder, providing nutritious food like Nyjer can help ensure that your feathered visitors have enough energy to make their long journey southward safely.

White Proso Millet:

If you’re hoping to attract more birds, it pays to know what foods they prefer. One of the top choices for autumn is white proso millet. This nutritious grain is high in protein, carbohydrates, and essential vitamins and minerals, making it ideal for avian consumption. Its small size makes it easy for even the tiniest birds to enjoy.

White proso millet can be scattered directly on the ground or placed inside a feeder. It’s beautiful to sparrows and juncos, but other varieties, such as finches, doves, and quail, also love it. Consider stocking up on this tasty treat to help keep your backyard visitors well-fed during the autumn months!

Feeding Wild Birds in Autumn

Maintaining an Existing Garden to Feed Wild Birds in Autumn:

As autumn approaches, gardeners and outdoor enthusiasts eagerly prepare for the cooler weather. One of the essential bird-watching preparations is creating a garden to attract wild birds and keep them fed throughout the colder months. Establishing an existing park is beneficial not only for wild birds but also homeowners as well.

Creating a garden that will sustain a variety of birds in autumn requires careful planning. It’s essential to select plants and trees that provide food, such as berries, nuts, seeds, and insects. Add native shrubs or bushes with colorful berries, such as bayberry, winterberry, or black chokeberry, to help attract birds like robins and cedar waxwings. Providing water sources in ponds or birdbaths can also benefit many species of birds looking for hydration during their migration period.

Rewild Your Lawn – Don’t Mow It:

Mow your lawn sparingly, as this can remove vital seeds and leaves essential for feeding wild birds. Longer grass provides excellent insulation against colder temperatures and is ideal nesting material for laying eggs or roosting overnight. Instead, use a strimmer or rake to keep the area neat without removing important foliage.

Adding a wide variety of native plants to your garden will attract more wildlife by providing different food sources such as nuts, berries, flowers, insects, and even water during dry spells.

Leave Wild Corners and Unmanaged Areas:

Leaving wild corners and unmanaged areas within your garden gives birds plenty of opportunity to feast on seeds, fruits, nuts, or any other natural food sources, such as insects that may be present. Providing ample resources in these areas can also encourage them to visit more often when hungry during this time of year. You can add bird feeders filled with sunflower seeds or suet cakes, giving them even more food sources throughout the day.

Don’t Cut Back Herbaceous Perennials in Autumn:

During this season, herbaceous perennials are essential for attracting feathered friends and providing food and shelter. Homeowners should cut back these plants early enough in autumn, as the flowers and seeds will be vital sources of nutrition and protection throughout the winter.

When planting perennial herbs, it is essential to choose species native to the local area so birds can more easily recognize them. Producing a variety of shrubs, trees, grasses, and vines will also create diverse habitats for different types of wildlife. Keeping garden beds free from weeds or debris helps ensure birds have access to nutritious snacks like insects or berries throughout the autumn season.

Preparing Bird Feeders for Autumn:

Don’t let the cooler weather keep you from enjoying your feathered friends! With a few simple steps, you can prepare your bird feeders for autumn to ensure that your backyard birds have plenty of food and water during the colder months.

Inspect each of your bird feeders for any damage or debris. Ensure there are no cracks or openings in seed feeders where moisture can get in, which could cause mold and bacteria growth. You’ll also want to ensure all the hanging hardware is secure and not rusty or bent. If any of these issues are present, replacing the feeder before adding a new seed is best.

Clean out all existing birdseed from each feeder and dispose of it properly—don’t just leave it on the ground, as this could attract unwanted pests such as rats and mice.

Quick Facts about Autumn Bird Feeding

Here are some quick facts about feeding wild birds in autumn season:

  • Firstly, it’s essential to be aware of which foods attract different species of birds. Sunflower seeds and peanuts will bring in a variety of songbirds, while suet cakes are beautiful to woodpeckers.
  • Secondly, bird feeders should be placed away from windows or other hazards where birds may collide with glass or other dangerous obstacles.
  • Thirdly, autumn is the perfect time to keep your bird feeder stocked as food sources become scarce while they prepare for colder climates.

Best Bird Feeders for Autumn Bird Feeding

Bird feeders are essential for providing wild birds with food during autumn and winter, when natural sources may be scarce. But not all bird feeders are created equal. To ensure you’re selecting the best model for your needs, consider these top products designed to help make autumn bird feeding a breeze.

The Nature’s Hangout Window Bird Feeder is ideal for anyone looking to observe wild birds up close and personal. This highly rated model features three large perches to give multiple birds plenty of space to snack at once and a transparent viewing window so you can watch their activity from inside your home. It’s also easy to install and maintain, making it suitable even for novice bird watchers.

Leaving bird feeders out in the garden can bring a whole world of joy to any backyard. It provides birds easy access to food and shelter, making it easier to survive harsh winter weather. But there are also many other important reasons why leaving bird feeders out is essential for the environment.

Filling up bird feeders with nuts, seeds, or suet helps increase biodiversity by providing sources of food that may not otherwise be available in certain areas. This encourages more birds to stop and rest while flying, which helps spread their species worldwide and creates thriving ecosystems where they live. Also, if you’re lucky enough, you might spot rare or unusual species of birds visiting your feeder!

Final Thoughts:

Feeding wild birds in autumn are enjoyable for humans and birds alike. Not only does feeding the birds provide food and nutrition, but it also encourages people to explore nature and appreciate its beauty. Feeding wild birds in autumn can be done quickly with any feeder and birdseed.

Why It Is Vital To Wild Birds Survival To Feed Them In The Fall Season?

Wild birds naturally eat various seeds, berries, and insects for nutrition. However, when natural food sources become scarce due to changing seasons or weather conditions such as drought or frigid temperatures, supplemental feeding can help them sustain themselves through difficult times. Feeders must provide high-quality foods, so birds receive adequate nutrition during these challenging periods.

What to Feed Birds in Winter?

Providing bird feeders filled with suitable types of food is an easy way to keep birds fed in wintertime.
When selecting the type of food to offer in the bird feeders, be sure it is specifically designed for birds during winter months. Many times, bird seed mixes will contain various grains, seeds, and nuts, which are ideal for providing essential energy sources for a wide variety of birds.

Also, Read Bird Feeders Kept Fresh and Full