Why Birds Throw Seeds Out of the Feeder

In this informative article, readers will discover the reasons behind the peculiar behavior of birds throwing seeds out of their feeders. From their preferences to their feeding behaviors, there are multiple factors that contribute to this intriguing phenomenon. Whether it’s their disdain for certain seeds, the habit of discarding inedible hulls, or simply accidental spillage while feasting, birds have their own unique way of handling their food. Additionally, the quality of the seeds also matters, as birds tend to reject poor quality or contaminated ones. Through understanding these reasons, bird enthusiasts can ensure that their feathered friends are provided with high-quality food and maintain their feeders properly.

Reasons why birds throw seeds out of the feeder

Birds throw seeds out of the feeder for several reasons. One of the main reasons is their preference for certain seeds. Just like humans have preferences when it comes to food, birds also have their favorite seeds. If the feeder contains seeds that they don’t particularly enjoy, they may pick them out and throw them away in search of their preferred choice.

In addition to their preference for certain seeds, birds also discard the inedible outer seed hulls. Many seeds have a protective outer covering that is not meant to be consumed. Birds have learned to remove these hulls before consuming the seed inside. As a result, they will often throw the hulls out of the feeder, keeping only the edible part for themselves.

Accidental knocking out of seeds is another reason why birds throw seeds out of the feeder. Sometimes, birds may get a bit clumsy while trying to pick out the seeds from the feeder. In their eagerness, they may knock some seeds out unintentionally, causing the seeds to fall to the ground below. This can be a common occurrence, especially when the birds are hungry and in a hurry to get to the seeds.

Why Birds Throw Seeds Out of the Feeder

Different feeding behaviors of bird species

Different bird species exhibit diverse feeding behaviors. For example, finches and sparrows are known for their seed chewing behavior. Instead of swallowing the seed whole, these birds will make small, rapid movements with their beaks to break down the seed into smaller pieces before consuming it. This behavior not only allows them to extract the maximum nutritional value from each seed but also helps them to remove any unwanted parts.

On the other hand, chickadees and nuthatches have a different approach to feeding. They are known to take one seed at a time from the feeder and fly to a nearby perch to consume it. This behavior of taking the seed to a separate location offers them a sense of security and allows them to carefully examine and enjoy each seed without being disturbed.

Why Birds Throw Seeds Out of the Feeder

Ground-feeding birds and their seed-kicking behavior

Some bird species, like towhees, are ground-feeding birds known for their seed-kicking behavior. These birds have a habit of kicking seeds over leaf litter as they search for food. It is believed that the leaf litter provides them with a natural cover and helps them locate insects and seeds more easily. This behavior is instinctual and can also be observed when these birds visit feeders. They may kick the seeds out of the feeder, mimicking their natural foraging behavior.

On feeders, ground-feeding birds may hop onto the feeding tray and use their feet to sweep the seeds away. This behavior not only helps them access the seeds more easily but also allows them to pick and choose the seeds they prefer. Although it may seem like they are wasting the seeds, they are simply following their natural instincts.

Why Birds Throw Seeds Out of the Feeder

Influence of seed quality on bird seed throwing

The quality of the seeds can greatly influence a bird’s decision to throw them out of the feeder. Birds are quite discerning when it comes to the taste and texture of the seeds they consume. If the seeds are of poor quality, they may choose to discard them. This is often the case with cheaper mixed bird seed packages. These packages often contain a variety of seeds of varying quality, and birds may pick out and throw away the ones that don’t meet their standards.

Wet or germinating bird seed can also be a reason for birds to throw it out of the feeder. Birds have a natural instinct to avoid consuming seeds that have started to germinate or are soaked with water. This is because these seeds may not provide the necessary nutrients or might even be harmful to the birds. As a result, they may choose to remove and discard such seeds from the feeder.

Moldy seed is another type of seed that birds will avoid consuming. Mold not only affects the taste and texture of the seed but can also be harmful to the birds’ health. In order to protect themselves, birds will instinctively dispose of moldy seed by throwing it out of the feeder.

Why Birds Throw Seeds Out of the Feeder

Accidental spillage of seed from feeders

Sometimes, birds may accidentally spill seed from the feeder while feeding. This can happen when the birds are in a hurry or when they are jostling for position on a crowded feeder. The movement of multiple birds trying to access the seeds can cause some seeds to fall out of the feeder and onto the ground below. While this may not be intentional, it is a common occurrence and may contribute to the seed throwing behavior.

Why Birds Throw Seeds Out of the Feeder

Tips to address seed throwing behavior

To address the issue of seed throwing behavior, there are a few tips that can be followed. First and foremost, using high-quality bird seed that birds prefer can greatly reduce the amount of seed that is thrown out of the feeder. Birds are more likely to consume and keep the seeds that are of superior quality and taste.

Regular cleaning and maintenance of feeders is also important. Feeders should be cleaned on a regular basis to remove any old or moldy seed that may be present. This will not only help prevent the birds from accidentally consuming contaminated seed but will also ensure that the feeder is always stocked with fresh and appealing seed.

In conclusion, birds throw seeds out of the feeder for various reasons, including their preference for certain seeds, discarding inedible seed hulls, accidental knocking out of seeds, and even instinctual behaviors such as seed-kicking. The quality of the seeds, accidental spillage, and the influence of seed quality are also factors that contribute to this behavior. By understanding these reasons and following tips to address the behavior, bird enthusiasts can ensure that their feathered friends are happy and well-fed.

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