The Kitchen Staple That'll Make Your Bird Feeder Irresistible

Whether you're an experienced birder or a beginner, creating a bird-friendly environment in your backyard can be a rewarding experience. While there are numerous bird feed options available, there's one kitchen staple that can elevate your bird feeder's appeal to feathered visitors — uncooked porridge oats. Surprisingly, these ordinary oats can serve as a tasty treat that many birds will find irresistible. What's more, the oats you purchase in the grocery store are perfectly safe for birds, as per Learn Bird Watching.

Uncooked oats are nutrient-rich, offering a combination of slow-release carbohydrates, fat, and protein, as well as B vitamins, zinc, and magnesium. Also, birds love oats! Although they can't say it, their delightful gobbling up of oats at backyard bird feeders worldwide says it all. Oats provide ample energy and are easily digestible, making them an ideal food source that doesn't strain a bird's digestive system. Birds require a well-rounded diet to thrive, and oats can provide valuable energy, especially during the colder months when food becomes scarcer.

The key is to serve uncooked oats. Cooked porridge must never be given to birds because once it dries, the glutinous oats get stuck around a bird's beak and become suffocating. Furthermore, ensure you are not feeding instant oatmeal because these types of oats may contain sugar, milk, and other additives unsuitable for birds. Opt for steel-cut, rolled, or jumbo oats for your feathered friends. They will appeal to a variety of granivorous bird species, including blackbirds, sparrows, finches, doves, and more.

Using uncooked porridge oats in your bird feeder

Incorporating uncooked oats into your bird-feeding routine is both straightforward and cost-effective. Simply mix some uncooked oats with other seeds and grains to create a balanced and nutritious food mix. This blend can be easily dispensed in your bird feeders. Another option is to DIY a suet block to feed your outdoor bird friends with oats and other goodies.

To cater to ground-feeding birds like sparrows and doves, simply scatter a handful of oats on the ground or a flat surface. Birds will naturally forage for them, creating an engaging and natural feeding experience. It's crucial to keep the oats fresh and dry. Store them in a cool, dry place to prevent moisture from damaging their quality. Proper storage of the oats will also prevent mold and harmful bacteria from compromising the feed, according to the Manitoba Government. Regularly clean and refill your feeders to ensure the oats remain appealing to birds.

The organic appeal, nutritional benefits, and versatility make the humble oat a valuable addition to your bird-feeding routine. By incorporating oats, you can attract a variety of birds to your backyard and have the opportunity to observe their behavior up close, creating an educational and entertaining experience for all ages. The next time you're grocery shopping for breakfast food or stocking up on birdseed at the pet store, consider adding a bag of oats to your cart. Your birdfeeder will become the prime hotspot for all the birds in town!