Keep Bird Seed Fresh for Birds

Do you like to feed wild birds in winter? Follow these tips to keep your birdseed fresh.
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Do you like to feed wild birds in winter? Follow these tips to keep your bird seed fresh.

black capped chickadee

Putting out bird feeders is a great way to attract more birds to your yard and garden in winter. There are some steps you need to take to ensure that the bird seed you are storing stays fresh and safe for the birds to eat, and to make sure your bird seed supply area stay neat and well stocked.

First, when purchasing seed for birds, avoid bird seed in burlap bags. Insects can easily get through the burlap and infest the bird seed. Mice and chipmunks and other rodents like to eat bird seed. Avoid buying bags that have obvious holes or have been patched. This means that somewhere along the supply chain, rodents have gotten into the bird seed.

At home, keep in mind that open bags of bird seed will attract rodents. When you open a bag of bird seed, transfer its contents into a heavy-duty plastic bin with a locking lid. A metal can with a tight lid will also work to store your bird seed. To store smaller quantities of specialty bird seed, such as niger, reuse plastic milk or soda bottles. Wash them first, then fill them with the bird seed. Make sure to cap them. The bird seed can be easily poured into the bird feeder directly from the milk or soda bottle.

Promptly sweep up any spilled bird seed in your storage area to avoid attracting rodents.

Suet cakes provide birds with important dietary elements, particularly fat and protein, in winter. If you stock up on suet, store extra cakes in a freezer until it is time to refill the bird feeder.

Shown: Black-capped chickadee. Image attribution.

Make your own bird houses with Birdhouses You Can Build in a Day. Make bird houses and much more with Bird, Bee & Bug Houses: Simple Projects for Your Garden.

Get help with bird identification in Backyard Birds of North America or Name That Bird: A Simple Approach to Identifying Your Backyard Friends.

Design a bird garden with Garden Secrets for Attracting Birds: A Bird-by-Bird Guide to Favored Plants; the National Wildlife Federation's Attracting Birds, Butterflies and Other Backyard Wildlife; or Hummingbird Gardens.

See H. Potter's stylish and functional Aluminum Bird Feeder.

Search for bird feeders and bird baths at