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What Not To Feed Wild Birds?

As a birdwatcher, We all like to welcome and watch our favorite wild birds in our backyard or garden. That’s why we provide the best food for them in the feeder, but sometimes we use unusual food which they don’t like, and that’s why they ignore your feeder. For this reason, you need to know what not to feed wild birds.

Also, few foods are toxic to wild birds that can cause birds’ malnutrition, disease, and avian obesity. So, Let’s find out which food we should about to feed wild birds.

What Not To Feed Wild Birds?

Salty Food

Birds are unable to excrete salt as a human can. So, If wild birds ate salt, their body couldn’t get rid of it. The scientific reason behind this is birds’ kidneys are not as efficient at removing salt, causing many health issues for birds.

salty food

Therefore, try to avoid providing highly salted food like chips, French fries, peanuts, and bacon.

But minimum use of salt doesn’t hamper their health.


When birds consume avocado, that can be the cause of their heart damage, weakness, and sometimes even sudden death. However, Few species can safely consume a certain type of avocado, whereas others can’t. So, It is hard for us to know.

For this reason, the wise decision is to avoid avocado and avocado-containing foods when you are trying to feed a wild bird or any bird.


Spoiled Seed

When you keep your feeder in low maintenance and don’t look out correctly, your bird seeds quickly get wet and lose freshness. So, the bugs, mold, and bacteria rapidly attack the bird seeds, affecting birds, and the feeders’ birds fall into many diseases. So, keep away spoiled seed from the feeder.

That’s why always check that your bird seeds are fresh and dry and try to refill your feeder frequently. Plus, you can use a bird feeder for birds like orioles, finches, woodpeckers, and other small birds which come with a better ventilation system to keep food dry and fresh.

spoiled seeds


Caffeine beverages such as coffee and tea provide us with refreshments. So, You might be tempted to offer those tasty beverages to wild birds and will like to watch how they enjoy their drinks. But unfortunately, if you provide them a sip or more drinks that can be toxic to beautiful wild birds. Caffeine will cause increased heart rate, hyperactivity, induce arrhythmias, and even cardiac arrest in birds. So, Always avoid caffeine products for birds.

Caffeine wild bird toxic food


Though, Many birds like Chocolate, will cause health issues for birds such as vomiting, diarrhea, and even worse. Because Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine that make it toxic for birds.


Raw Meat

Always avoid offering raw meat to wild birds in your feeder though many carnivorous birds like to eat. This raw meat can spoil very quickly and grow many bacteria that can kill birds and harm other feeder pests.

raw meat


Birds don’t have the digestive enzymes to process milk, causing a different problem for birds like stomach upset.

milk toxic food for birds

Onions and garlic

Many people believe that onions and garlic are better for birds. However, The reality is onions and garlic are toxic foods for birds, including other pet animals.

what not to feed wild birds garlic and onions

The sulfur compounds in onions cause fretted in the lining of a bird’s mouth when they chewed. Also, the cause of ulcers and Anemia can cause red blood cells to rupture. Allicin chemicals of garlic cause Anemia and weakness in birds.


This common artificial sweetener is available in many diet foods, causing a bird’s liver to damage, hypoglycemia, and even death. Small amounts of this xylitol can create toxic effects for birds because birds have a faster metabolism than other species. Therefore, it’s a wise decision to avoid offering birds to xylitol.

sylitol bird toxic food


This natural ingredient is beneficial for humans but not suitable for birds. Even the highest quality, organic honey can harbor bacteria and grow mold, which will be fatal to backyard beautiful wild birds. So, Avoid honey to use any bird food product.

honey not for birds


A small number of pesticides, herbicides, or other potentially toxic chemicals can harm your backyard birds. So, Don’t provide any fruit or seed that contains those poisonous chemicals. But if you want to offer them fruit fast, wash it before providing it into the feeder.


Final Words

Birds can enhance your backyard’s beauty by their appearance. So, You need to give them a warm invitation by providing the best quality food. But In your food list, you need to avoid a few types of foods that hamper birds’ health. So, I hope you have gathered enough information about What Not To Feed Wild Birds.

Happy Birdwatching:)

A freelance designer, writer, and content marketer who also loves to spend her leisure watching wild birds and improving her garden and balconies making safe heaven for birds.

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