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How to Feed Hungry Birds

Aug 30, 2020

If you've been appreciating birds a little more this year and want to go next level, check out how to feed birds as well as making homemade feed and a peanut feeder.

As winter approaches this year, think about a new form of family entertainment. Why not swap the television for a bird feeder? Feeding birds can be entertaining as well as a boost for our feathered friends.

To attract a variety of birds, set up several kinds of feeders to suit the feeding needs of different birds. Low platforms or ground feeding will bring in juncos, doves and sparrows. Higher platform feeders with sunflower seeds will attract cardinals, finches and chickadees. Hanging feeders will keep you entertained with the antics of woodpeckers and nuthatches.

By putting out a particular type of feed, you can choose the birds you want to attract. Black oil sunflower seeds are a good all-around choice, preferred by the goldfinch, cardinal, chickadee, purple finch, tufted titmouse and others. To attract a clientele that’s a little different, hang some beef tallow in a suet feeder or mesh bag. Soon, you’ll see woodpeckers as well as nuthatches and chickadees.

If you don’t want to build or buy a feeder, simply spread your seed on the ground or on a deck. You can also hang suet from the mesh onion bags you get at the grocery store. Also, keep a supply of water available. Birds need water for drinking and bathing.

Cookin’ up Some Bird Food

You can make your own bird food from scratch! The Old Farmer’s Almanac has shared this recipe for junco cornbread, which is a favorite of hummingbirds.


  • 3 cups cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup fat (meaning drippings or lard)
  • 3 cups water


Mix all the ingredients together and bake in a deep pan at 375ºF for 30 to 35 minutes. Reduce heat if bread looks as if it is forming a hard crust. May be doubled or halved. When done and cooled, place in mesh bags and hang outdoors!

See how to make a peanut bird feeder in the video below.


male downy woodpecker at feeder
Male Downy Woodpecker at feeder

MO DOC-2020-DNN Sept Wk 1 Hungry Birds-MDOC2009-LF01.mp3

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Peanut Bird Feeder Building Plans

Learn how to make a peanut bird feeder
Learn how to make a peanut bird feeder

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