Attracting Birds (Homemade and Scavenged Bird Food)

homemade-and-scavenged-bird food

One of my favorite things to do is sit on our front porch and watch (and listen to) all the birds.

Unless you live in the dessert, having full birdfeeders will almost guarantee you a sight to see.

Here are some super easy bird food recipes for hummingbirds and “regular” song birds.

Hummingbird Food


- Hot Water
- White Granulated Sugar

I got this recipe years ago from one of my neighbors, Linda. She came across the recipe somewhere, and she shared it with me. Hummingbirds LOVE it, and it’s so easy to make.

I’m in my third year of using this recipe, and this year has been the BEST. In the past two years, I usually only had, at the most, three(?) hummingbirds. I’ve got a lot more now! :) So, pray, keep trying, and be patient.


  1. Fill a pan (any pan) about half* full with water.
  2. Bring the water to a boil.
  3. Reduce temperature to a simmer.
  4. Pour an equal amount of table sugar into the pan, and stir until it melts.
  5. Bring the mixture to a short boil again.
  6. Turn off heat, and allow mixture to cool.
  7. Once it cools, pour it into a pitcher and refrigerate.

*Allow enough room in the pan for everything to boil without overflowing. Adjust amount as needed, but have equal amounts of water and sugar.

We’ll refer to the end result of steps 1 – 7 as the nectar.

As far as your nectar/water ratio:

  • Use about 50/50 in the beginning when there are not as many flowers available for the hummingbirds.
  • Once flowers start blooming, change the ratio to 30/70 or 25/75. (The weaker the nectar the more they have to feed to get the food energy they require. It’s a way to get them to your feeder a lot, but don’t reduce the nectar to the point of starving them. Normally, a 25/75 ratio is recommended on the feeders, but you’ll need to experiment to see what works best in your area.)


Oriole Bird Food


- Halved Oranges
- Grape Jelly (in a dish)

Orioles love oranges and grape jelly. I’ve seen a lot of images online of orioles eating out of halved oranges. (I don’t have a photo of any in my yard because I just recently started to try and lure them in.)


© Geraldmarella |

I love the simplicity. I mean, really! Slicing an orange in half, and plopping it on a surface – can you get any simpler than that?! (I prefer the oranges over the jelly, but attracting orioles is totally new to me. We’ll see how this unfolds.)

Other Bird Food

When it comes to what I call regular dry bird food, I just purchase it from the store.

This is a photo of one of my birdfeeders with a couple birds enjoying a simple mix.


I recently splurged and purchased a specialty mix of lose dry food and a mostly dry bar for one of my cage feeders. The wildlife have gone INSANE for it! I’ve actually got a couple chipmunks – ADORABLE! – and a couple squirrels helping themselves to the feeder feast. It’s also brought it some additional birds that my cheap stuff (seen in the photo) was not doing. However, this is a post about homemade and scavenged bird food. So, back to that.


Backyard Chirper shares six (6) recipes for homemade suet bars. If you enjoy making bird food from scratch, you’ll want to check out these recipes.


- Worms (the common earthworm or compost worms, like red wigglers)

C’mon! You had to know I’d find a way to work these little critters into the post. ;)


Grab a few red wigglers or other compost worms out of your bin, and place them into your bird feeder. The earliest birds will get the worms. If you don’t have a compost worm bin but REALLY enjoy bird watching, you could go to a little effort and dig up a few worms out of your garden.

I’ve not yet sent any of my red wigglers to an early death by turning them into bird food. Maybe this winter, when the birds appreciate a little extra help in finding food, I’ll provide the birds with these – dare I say it – protein snacks. :(

How many of you love watching birds?

Do you make your own bird food?

This was shared on the following blog hops or link-ups:
‘Encourage One Another’ Wednesday Link-Up
Homestead Barn Hop
Simple Lives Thursday

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

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2 comments to Attracting Birds (Homemade and Scavenged Bird Food)

  • Mary-Ann Frayser

    Question; How do you keep the bees from attacking the humming bird feeder? we have tried all the ones that say “bee proof”?????? Thanks for the info. Great site. Will use it all the time.

    • Holly

      That’s a great question. So far, we’ve not had any issues with bees this year, but it’s early. I’ve had problems with them in the past. I’m not sure what the solution is, but I, too, would love to know.

      I’ll ask Your Gardening Friend Facebook fans. Maybe some of them will share with how they keep the bees at bay.

      Thanks for commenting! I love to hear from readers.

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