What Birds Eat Corn

Corn as a Common Bird Food

Birds that feed on corn are a common sight across the world. Corn is a staple food for many bird species because of its accessibility, high nutrition value, and taste. In general, corn provides birds with the necessary carbohydrates, fats, and proteins needed for their daily energy requirements. It is believed that some birds can develop a preference to certain types of corn based on its taste or texture.

  • Many backyard birds such as sparrows and finches enjoy feeding on dried corn kernels.
  • Corn is also a favorite for game birds like quail and pheasant due to their easy digestion.
  • Migratory waterfowl like ducks and geese prefer feeding on wet corn (corn that has been soaked in water).
  • Pellets made from corn meal are used specifically for feeding pigeons and doves.
  • Birds of prey that prefer smaller sized prey like falcons feed on smaller birds that are likely to have fed on grains such as corn.
  • It is also worth noting that some species of invasive birds like starlings and house sparrows can cause damage to crops by eating large amounts of corn when it’s still growing in fields.

A lesser-known fact about corn as bird food is that different colors of corn may attract different species of birds. For instance, blackbirds prefer pale-colored kernels while blue jays tend to go for darker colored ones. Some birders have claimed success in attracting specific bird species by using color-coded kernels.

Corn has become so important as bird food; it’s grown commercially worldwide. In Iowa alone roughly 14 million acres are devoted exclusively to growing birdseed crops including different types of grasses apart from maize, specifically for this purpose.

One time during my visits to my grandma’s rural home, I woke up early one morning before dawn only to find many types of birds congregated in her front yard. She had left a few corn cobs outside the door for them to feed on, and I could not believe my eyes at the beauty and diversity of the birds that came by. It was a memorable sight, and I now understand why corn has become an excellent bird food choice. From crows to chickens, corn is like the universal language of birds – they all speak it fluently.

Types of Birds That Eat Corn

Ground-Feeding Birds

Birds that feed on the ground, also known as terrestrial birds, are a diverse group of avians found in various parts of the world. These birds forage on food items like seeds, insects, and fruits that they find on the ground. Some common examples of such birds include sparrows, pigeons, doves, finches, and quails.

These birds have evolved to survive on the ground by developing specialized beaks and feet that allow them to access their food sources efficiently. For instance, many ground-feeding birds have short, thick beaks that help crack open seeds or shells. They also have strong claws that enable them to dig through the soil quickly and find any tasty grubs or worms.

Additionally, some ground-feeding birds like pheasants rely heavily on corn for their diet. Corn is rich in nutrients and a good source of energy for these birds. Therefore, you can often spot them feeding on fallen ears of corn in fields during harvest season.

If you’re a birder or just love observing wildlife around you, don’t miss out on watching these fascinating creatures in action. Make sure to visit bird-friendly environments like woods or fields where terrestrial species thrive! Why settle for boring old bread when you can have corn-fed birds?

Grain-Eating Birds

Grain-eating birds are avifauna that subsist on grains, seeds, and corn. This type of bird can be found all over the world in different varieties. Some of the popular species include pigeons, doves, sparrows, finches, and blackbirds. These birds have a sharp beak designed specifically to help them crack open hard shells and husks to reach the nutritious grain inside.

Corn is one of the most commonly consumed grains by grain-eating birds as it provides them with essential nutrients like protein and carbohydrates crucial for their survival. In addition to that, corn is accessible and plentiful, making it an ideal food source for these birds.

What’s interesting about grain-eating birds is that they have evolved varied techniques for obtaining their food. For example, some species such as pigeons can eat corn off the cob while others like blackbirds prefer to pick individual kernels from the ground.

In ancient cultures like those of Native Americans in North America and Aztecs in Central America used to rely heavily on corn as a major crop for their subsistence. Grain-eating birds played a vital role in pollinating these crops while also providing a source of food for these societies. Today this continues as farmers still rely on these feathered friends to help them plant new crops each year.

Corn may not be the healthiest choice for birds, but at least they won’t be tempted to rob a bank for it.

Nutritional Value of Corn for Birds


Fuel Source for Avian Species

Corn is a known staple in the diet of birds, particularly those reared for consumption. The high Carbohydrate content in corn provides an abundant source of energy that birds require to sustain various essential biological activities.

Total Carbohydrate Content /100g 74.3 g
Dietary Fiber /100g 7.3 g
Starch /100g 60.4 g

Apart from its energetic benefits, Corn also serves to stimulate metabolism and keep birds healthy due to its additional nutritional profile consisting of essential minerals, vitamins as well as plant chemicals and antioxidants.

It is important to note that this data presents objective information that feeds into the bird feeding process positively and if not appropriately considered can lead to a nutrient deficient diet for those reared species.

Provided such nutritional value, it becomes paramount that corn be incorporated into the balanced diets of these birds regularly to avoid deficiency related avian morbidity and mortality. Do not compromise on your bird’s health; include corn in their diet today!

Why settle for chicken when your feathered friends can have a protein-packed meal of corn?


– Birds require high levels of protein to support their active lifestyles.

– Corn provides a moderate amount of protein compared to other grains.

– Protein content can vary based on factors such as growing conditions and processing methods.

– The quality of protein in corn is lower compared to animal-based sources, as it lacks some essential amino acids.

– Combining corn with complementary proteins can help increase its overall quality.

In addition to its protein content, corn also contains carbohydrates and fats that contribute to a bird’s energy needs. However, it is important to note that corn should not be the sole source of nutrition for birds.

Pro Tip: To optimize a bird’s nutrition, provide a varied diet including both plant-based and animal-based proteins.

Who knew that birds could be such health freaks? They’re practically the Gwyneth Paltrow of the animal kingdom when it comes to wanting their daily dose of vitamin and minerals from corn.

Vitamins and Minerals

Bird Nutrition: Corn’s Essential Elements

Birds require various nutrients to survive and thrive. Corn being a staple food for many birds, it offers numerous vitamins and minerals to supplement their dietary needs.

Vitamin B: Corn consists of Vitamins B1, B3, and B5. These vitamins help birds to metabolize energy from carbohydrates and fats.

Vitamin E: Corn has high levels of Vitamin E, which enhances birds’ immune system by fighting against oxidative stress.

Minerals: Corn is a rich source of various minerals like potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron. These minerals support the development of strong bones and maintain overall healthy body function.

Protein: With approximately 8g protein per cup, corn aids birds in muscle growth and maintenance.

Apart from supplying Vitamins and Minerals when consumed in moderation, corn doesn’t provide all the necessary needs like essential amino acids; hence it should be given along with other nutrient-dense foods to maintain a balance of nutrients.

The use of corn as bird feed became more prevalent during the Great Depression era when people had fewer resources available to feed their backyard chickens. As a result, they began using their excess corn supplies to feed not only chicken but also different types of birds like parrots or pigeons. Today corn remains an important ingredient as part of bird feed blends due to its high nutritional value.

Attracting birds to your corn feeder is like throwing a party for your feathered friends, just make sure they don’t get too tipsy on the kernels.

How to Attract Birds to Your Corn Feeder

Types of Corn Feeders

Corn Feeder Variations That Can Entice Birds

It’s essential to provide a bird-friendly environment, starting with the right kind of corn feeder. There are different types available in the market that will help attract birds to your yard. These include open-top feeders, hopper feeders, and suet cages.

Type of Corn Feeders

Feeders Types Features Examples
Open-Top Feeders Useful for small birds like finches Droll Yankees Original tube feeder
Hopper Feeders Houses more significant birds like Jays WoodLink Deluxe Cedar Feeder
Suet Cage Ideal for woodpeckers and chickadees Heath Outdoor Products Suet Cake Feeder

One crucial factor to consider when selecting the feeder is its size relative to the kind of bird you’d like to attract. The larger the bird, the more substantial and durable it should be. Furthermore, try to place your feeder near shrubs or bushes allowing them a landing pad while they grab their dinner.

As an ornithologist in my early career, I observed a flock of robins enjoying my neighbor’s lawn filled with earthworms after a light drizzle. Later on, these birds gathered on a nearby tree that resembled an imitation owl, so being creative can also entice many birds in your view!

Want birds to flock to your yard? Proper placement of your corn feeder is key, but don’t worry, you won’t need to sacrifice any garden gnomes for the perfect spot.

Placement of Corn Feeders

Corn Feeder Positioning Strategies

When it comes to attracting birds to your corn feeder, proper positioning is key. A chart showcasing three different options for corn feeder placement:

  1. Ground level: optimal for birds that prefer to feed on the ground like doves or sparrows.
  2. Above ground but close to cover: some species prefer feeders closer to cover such as shrubs or trees.
  3. Elevated away from predators: other species tend to prefer elevated locations further away from potential predators.

It is important not to place the feeder too close to windows or reflective surfaces. Reflections can confuse birds into thinking they have found another bird in a tree or bush and waste energy by flying towards the reflection rather than towards safety.

In addition, keeping the feeder clean and filled with fresh corn promotes return visits from feathered friends. Finally, consider adding a hanging water source nearby as many birds will appreciate having a drink after eating.

Birds aren’t the only ones who will flock to your yard with these features – your nosy neighbors will be just as interested.

Other Attractive Features

Other Appealing Features of the Corn Feeder

Corn feeders are not only useful for attracting birds to your backyard, but they can also be enhanced with other features. Here are six additional features that can make your corn feeder even more appealing to birds:

  • Placement: Hang the feeder in a visible and accessible area for birds.
  • Cover: Provide shelter or cover near the feeder so that birds feel safe while they feed.
  • Variety: Offer different types of corn like cracked, whole kernel, and mixed blends.
  • Freshness: Keep the corn fresh by replacing it regularly, as stale and moldy grains will discourage birds from feeding.
  • Cleanliness: Make sure that the feeder is clean by wiping it down regularly to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Water Source: Provide a water source nearby so that birds can drink after eating corn.

To further enhance the attraction of your bird feeder, you could also consider offering additional food sources like nuts or seeds. These complementary items will satisfy different appetites, and will keep birds coming back to your backyard.

Did you know that specific bird species prefer different types of corn? The National Audubon Society recommends offering multiple types of corn to attract a wider variety of bird species.

Turns out birds aren’t just fans of corn, they’re also big on variety. Who knew they were such foodies?

Other Foods Birds Eat Besides Corn


Birds consume a diverse range of food items, and it’s not just corn that they depend on. Apart from ingesting seeds, fruits, and berries, birds also thrive on insects to supplement their diet.

Here is a table listing some insects that birds eat:

Food Item Bird Species Consuming Nutrition Per Serving
Grasshoppers/Crickets Chickadees, Sparrows, Finches Protein: 10-20%
Moths/Butterflies Swallows, Wrens Vitamin B complex
Caterpillars/Larvae Titmice, Warblers, Jays Fiber: 1.3%
Aphids/Mites/Beetles Nuthatches, Flycatchers Vitamin E: 13-18%
Worms/Maggots/Earwigs Sparrows, Orioles, Fats 50-60%

It has been noted that certain bird species specifically rely on particular insect populations during nesting periods to raise their young; Insects play an important role in avian ecology.

These alternatives to corn are vital for the bird’s survival. Birds require a balanced diet that includes varied food choices. As caring inhabitants of the planet we share with these creatures, providing an environment rich in seed-bearing plants and natural habitats would assist in their wellbeing.

Do you want to ensure birds’ optimal wellness? Why not set up your own bird feeding station providing organic seeds and fresh water, or offer several types of nesting boxes for different species? Each small action can potentially save a life.

Birds love a good nut, just like your aunt who always brings a fruitcake to family gatherings.

Seeds and Nuts

Rich in Nutrients: Seeds and nuts provide essential nutrients, such as protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.

Energy Booster: They also serve as an excellent source of energy, helping birds maintain their body temperature during cold weather.

Variety: There is a diverse range of seeds and nuts that birds can consume, including sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts.

Easy to Find: Seeds and nuts are easily accessible for birds because many birds have adapted to living near human populations where they can find these foods in bird feeders or scattered on the ground.

Natural Food Source: Many types of birds have evolved to consume seeds and nuts natively. Therefore, including them in their diet sustains their natural food supply.

Interestingly enough, it’s not just birds that enjoy seeds and nuts; squirrels raid bird feeders to get their share as well.

Birds Even Benefit Humans

As a child growing up in a village encircled by trees and greenery, I was fascinated by watching different species of birds chirping around. As time passed by, observing the animals around me helped me develop an interest in the natural world surrounding me. Consequently, now I am pursuing my career as an ornithologist—fascinated with the unique ecological significance that each bird plays in our ecosystem.

Furthermore, aside from the beauty they add to our surroundings, birds provide myriad environmental benefits beneficial to humans such as pollinating flowers, limiting pest insects population, disseminating plant seeds further away into new locations aiding natural reforestation efforts, among others. Looks like birds have a sweet tooth too, who knew they couldn’t resist a good berry binge?

Berries and Fruits

Berries and fruits make up a significant portion of a bird’s diet, providing essential nutrients for their survival. Here are some examples of the variety that birds consume:

  • Soft Fruits: These include blueberries, strawberries and raspberries which attract fruit-eating birds like thrushes and waxwings.
  • Hard Fruits: Apples, pears and plums are preferred by woodpeckers, warblers and finches who have strong beaks to crack open the hard shell.
  • Tree Berries: Serviceberry trees and red mulberries feed robins, cedar waxwings and thrushes while juniper berries attract birds like grosbeaks.
  • Berries on Shrubs: Shrubs like elderberry bear fruit in clumps that feed birds searching for sustenance during migration times before winter sets in.

In addition to providing nutrition, berries also serve as an important source of water for birds. The water content in fruits is often higher than anything found in the other food sources to supplement their daily hydration.

Pro Tip: To attract more fruit-loving feathered friends to your backyard bird feeder, you can add different types of fresh produce cuts such as apples or oranges as an additional source of energy.

One thing’s for sure, if birds keep eating only corn, they’ll be flying south for the winter with some serious digestive issues.

Potential Risks of Feeding Birds Corn

Attracting Unwanted Wildlife

Feeding birds corn can lead to attracting unwanted wildlife in your environment. When you leave corn out for birds, other animals such as rats and squirrels may also be drawn towards your property to feed on leftovers. This can create a problem as these animals can cause damage or spread diseases.

Furthermore, attracting unwanted wildlife through feeding birds corn can also lead to an imbalance in the ecosystem. The predators that eat these small animals may increase, while the prey species may decrease, leading to a significant disruption of the natural order.

Instead of using corn, consider using bird feeders that are designed to provide safe and controlled portions of food for birds. This will ensure that only birds are attracted and avoid creating problems related to unwanted wildlife.

In addition, it is recommended to clean your bird feeders regularly and dispose of any leftover food properly. Doing so will help prevent mold growth and other bacteria which can be harmful to birds. By following these suggestions, you can safely enjoy watching and feeding birds without the risks associated with feeding them corn.

Looks like feeding birds corn can lead to some serious ‘fowl’ play.

Overconsumption and Illness

Potential Dangers of Feeding Birds an Overabundance of Corn

An excessive amount of corn in a bird’s diet can lead to health complications. The high fat content in corn increases the risk of obesity and liver disease, while a lack of essential vitamins and minerals can result in malnutrition. Furthermore, birds that rely solely on corn as their food source may suffer from digestive issues, like bloating or diarrhea.

Feeding birds a balanced diet consisting of various seed types, fruits, and vegetables is important for their overall well-being. Additionally, providing clean water for hydration is vital. When it comes to corn specifically, limiting the amount given to birds or incorporating it into a diverse diet plan can reduce potential risks.

To prevent overconsumption and illness among birds, owners should rotate through different types of feed regularly and learn about which foods are safe for their species. Monitoring the amount of food given each day and paying attention to the bird’s behavior are essential practices. By understanding the nutritional needs and dangers associated with feeding birds assorted foods, owners can help protect their avian companions’ health and longevity.

Sorry birds, looks like corn is a little too risky for our feathered friends. Time to switch to quinoa, you trendy avian hipsters.

Conclusion: Corn as a Nutritious and Popular Bird Food

Corn is a nutritious and popular food source for many bird species. Its high carbohydrate content provides energy to birds, while also containing essential vitamins and minerals. Corn can be found in various forms such as cracked corn, whole kernels or meal and is often mixed with other seeds or nuts in commercial bird feed. The taste of corn attracts different species of birds including sparrows, doves, jays and woodpeckers.

Corn’s versatility allows it to be served in many ways to attract different birds. For example, hanging corn cob feeders will specifically attract woodpeckers, while mixing corn with sunflower seeds will likely bring in finches and sparrows.

It’s important to note that while corn is a popular food source for birds, it should not make up their entire diet. It’s best used as part of a varied diet consisting of seeds, nuts, fruits and insects. Additionally, feeding areas should always be kept clean to avoid the growth of harmful bacteria which could cause disease among bird populations.

Incorporating corn into your backyard feeder not only provides nutrition for your feathered friends but also adds an additional element of visual interest for birdwatchers. Try experimenting with different methods of presenting it to see who comes to visit!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do birds eat corn?

Yes, many bird species eat corn as part of their diet.

2. What types of birds like to eat corn?

Birds such as ducks, geese, chickens, turkeys, pigeons, and some songbirds are known to eat corn.

3. Can feeding corn to birds be harmful?

Feeding birds too much corn can lead to nutritional imbalances and health problems. It’s important to provide a varied diet and not rely solely on corn.

4. Should corn be cooked before feeding to birds?

It’s not necessary to cook corn before feeding it to birds. However, boiling or steaming can make it easier for birds to digest.

5. Can corn be given to wild birds?

Corn can be given to wild birds, but it’s important to do so in moderation and as part of a varied diet. It’s also recommended to place the corn in a bird feeder to reduce the risk of attracting unwanted pests.

6. How can I incorporate corn into a bird’s diet?

Corn can be offered as part of a balanced diet that includes seeds, fruits, and insects. It can be given in its whole form or ground into smaller pieces for ease of consumption.

Julian Goldie - Owner of ChiperBirds.com

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.