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Bird Eating Habits

One of the best ways to observe birds and their behavior is right at home! Setting up feeders and enjoying the many different varieties that show up can be a great way to learn about some of their tendencies. When it comes to eating, birds have fascinating personalities and their own way of enjoying their meals. Let’s take a look at some common birds that you may find along with their eating habits!

Downy Woodpeckers:

Downies love suet along with sunflower seeds. If you have a suet cake or log feeder, you will often find them grabbing large amounts at each time while remaining in the feeder to eat. They are a little timid and you’ll find them “hiding” behind the feeder or moving around to get out of the sight of another bird who may be trying to get into the feeder as well. Occasionally, Downies will take suet or sunflower seeds out of the feeder and stuff them into a nearby tree for future use.

Black-capped Chickadees:

Energy. Excitement. Fun. These little ones seem like they are always on a mission as they rarely sit still! Chickadees will typically eat sunflower seeds and will usually grab one at a time and fly back to a nearby tree to crack them open. In and out, back and forth, you’ll love the antics of the Chickadees. You can often get pretty close to them as they are very curious little birds.


Goldfinches love to eat nyjer seed and sunflower seeds in either tube, mesh, or sock feeders. Depending on the size of the feeder, it can be common to see 8-12 of them eating at one time. All it takes is for one to get a little to close to another, and you’ll see some tempers flare! Goldfinches love to eat upside down as well which can be a fun sight to see. Unlike the Chickadees, Goldfinches will remain in the feeders to eat their seeds.

Rose-breasted Grosbeaks:

One of the most elegant birds in any feeder, this migratory bird loves to take their time and enjoy their safflower or sunflower seeds. This is another bird that is not easily “spooked” which allows for some wonderful viewing up close. Look for them to also arrive in feeders late in the evening as they look to have one last nibble when it is quiet and the other birds have gone to their resting areas.

It's always fun watching the different personalities and habits of the birds as they eat! That's it for now, so until next time, happy birding!!!

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