Are you or your birds tired of bird seed? Here are some strange things you can put out for a special treat, and help get rid of leftovers.
1. Cookies- Birds love cookies as much as people do! Just be sure that the cookies you leave them don't contain chocolate, because that is dangerous for them. Try oatmeal raisin, sugar, or other kinds of home-made or store-bought cookies.
2. Eggshells- Although it may not sound appetizing to us, they are an important calcium source for birds. Serve them crushed up, but be sure to boil them or cook them first to kill any salmonella.
3. Doughnuts- These yummy treats are a good source of fat for birds. Woodpeckers especially love jelly-filled ones! I've found that putting them in a suet cage is a good way to serve them. Again, no chocolate.
4. Meat- Most birds are omnivores, so insects are a part of their diet. Most will eat raw meat as well. They like ground beef, I think because it looks a little like worms. They'll also eat cooked chicken (if that isn't disturbing to you).
5. Non-Traditional Nuts- You may be familiar with feeding peanuts to birds, but they also enjoy almonds, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, and most other nuts you can think of.
6. Noodles- Birds will eat leftover, cooked pasta. Just make sure it is the small kind, like orzo, cous cous, elbow, wagon wheel, etc. They might go for spaghetti or angel hair pasta if it is chopped up into smaller pieces.
7. Dog Food- Dog food is a good protein source for birds, especially in the winter. It helps if you soak it in water first and lay it out on a cookie sheet. Blue jays love it!
8. PB&J Sandwiches- Make an extra sandwich for your birds next time! They love peanut butter and jelly, because they combine two great bird foods. Whole wheat or white bread, they don't care which.
9. Leftover Rice- If you have extra rice around, you can put it in a hopper, tube, or tray feeder. Make sure it is cooked first, though. Uncooked rice can be dangerous for birds to ingest.
10. Cheese- Cheese is another good calcium source for birds. They like any kinds, like mozzarella, cheddar, colby jack, bleu, etc. If you serve it in chunks, they'll still enjoy it.