What Birds Eat Cracked Corn: A Guide for Bird Lovers



What Birds Eat Cracked Corn

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Welcome to the captivating world of birds, where delicate feathers and melodious songs blend with a curious palate that often leaves us intrigued. Have you ever wondered why cracked corn holds such irresistible appeal for our feathered friends?

Birds that enjoy cracked corn typically include larger ground-feeding birds like pheasants, wild turkeys, grouse, and quail. Smaller species such as sparrows, doves, and jays are also fans of cracked corn.

Get ready to unlock the secrets that lie within this intriguing avian delight.

What Is Cracked Corn?

Cracked corn is simply corn kernels that have been cracked or broken into smaller pieces. This makes it easier for birds to eat than whole corn kernels. The size of the pieces can vary depending on how finely the corn is cracked. Coarse grinding is preferred for small backyard birds.

Cracked corn is often used as a supplemental food for birds, particularly in the winter months when other food sources may be scarce. It’s a common ingredient in many birdseed mixes and can be purchased at most pet stores or online.

One thing to keep in mind when offering cracked corn is that it should be used in moderation. While many birds enjoy eating it, it should not be the sole food source for any bird species. It’s important to provide a variety of foods to ensure that birds are getting all the nutrients they need to stay healthy.

What Birds Eat Cracked Corn

Many bird species enjoy eating this type of birdseed, especially ground-feeding birds like doves, quail, and sparrows.

One of the most common birds that eat cracked corn is the blue jay. These birds are native to North America and are known for their striking blue feathers and loud calls. They are also quite fond of cracked corn and will often visit bird feeders that contain this type of seed.

Others birds that eat corn are house sparrows. House sparrows are common in urban and suburban areas and can often be seen hopping around on the ground searching for food. They are also known for their distinctive chirping calls.

Other bird species that eat cracked corn include quail, juncos, cardinals, ducks, crows, pheasants, towhees, blackbirds, starlings, and pigeons. In fact, cracked corn is a favorite food of many ground-feeding birds, including indigo buntings, thrashers, grackles, and native sparrows.

How to Feed Cracked Corn

Here are some tips on how to feed cracked corn to the birds:

  • Choose the Right Location: Many birds that eat cracked corn are ground-feeding species, so it is best to sprinkle the corn directly on the ground in an open area of dirt, gravel, or very short grass, or along a deck or patio. Sprinkling cracked corn under low bushes or shrubs will also help attract more secretive ground-feeding species such as towhees and quail.
  • Use a Feeder: You can also use a feeder to offer cracked corn to birds. Make sure the feeder is designed for ground-feeding birds and has a large enough opening for the corn to easily flow through. Place the feeder in an open area where birds can easily access it.
  • Offer Other Foods: Cracked corn should not be the only food offered to birds. It is important to offer a variety of foods to ensure that birds are getting a balanced diet. Consider offering other foods such as sunflower seeds, suet, and mealworms.
  • Clean Up Regularly: Make sure to clean up any spilled corn or debris regularly to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria, which can be harmful to birds.
  • Consider the Season: In the winter, cracked corn can be a great source of energy for birds. However, in the summer, it may not be as appealing to birds as other foods. Consider offering cracked corn in the winter and other foods in the summer.

Types of Feeders for Cracked Corn

If you want to attract birds that eat cracked corn, you need to have the right type of feeder. Here are some of the most common types of feeders that work well with cracked corn:

Platform Feeders and Tray Feeders

Platform feeders are flat trays that you can fill with cracked corn. They are great for ground-feeding birds like quails, doves, and sparrows. You can place a platform feeder on the ground or elevate it on a pole or stand. Keep in mind that platform feeders may attract other critters like squirrels and raccoons, so you may need to take measures to keep them away.

Hopper Feeders

Hopper feeders are enclosed containers that can hold a large amount of cracked corn. They have a mechanism that releases the corn as birds feed. Hopper feeders are great for attracting larger birds like pheasants, turkeys, and ducks. They can also attract squirrels and other critters, so make sure to get a hopper feeder that is designed to be squirrel-proof.

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Tube Feeders

Tube feeders are long, cylindrical containers that can hold cracked corn. They have multiple feeding ports that birds can access. Tube feeders are great for attracting smaller birds like finches, sparrows, and chickadees. They can also keep the corn dry and fresh, which is important if you live in a rainy or humid area.

Benefits of Cracked Corn in Bird Feed

If you’re looking for an affordable and effective way to attract birds to your backyard, consider adding cracked corn to your bird feed mix. Cracked corn is a popular food choice among many bird species and can provide numerous benefits to your feathered friends.

A Nutritious Food Source

Cracked corn is a great source of energy for birds. It contains carbohydrates, protein, and fat, which are all essential nutrients for maintaining a healthy bird diet. Birds that eat cracked corn can benefit from the energy boost it provides, especially during the winter months when food sources may be scarce.

Attracts a Variety of Birds

Many bird species enjoy eating cracked corn, including ground-feeding birds like quail, towhees, and sparrows. You can also attract larger birds like wild turkeys and pheasants by offering cracked corn. Adding cracked corn to your bird feed mix can help diversify the types of birds that visit your backyard.

Versatile Feed Option

Cracked corn is a versatile bird food option that can be used in a variety of ways. You can sprinkle it on the ground to feed birds or add it to a bird feeder. It can also be mixed with other birdseed, grains, or suet to create a custom bird feed mix.

Affordable and Accessible

Compared to other types of birdseed, cracked corn is an affordable and accessible option. It can be found at most pet stores, garden centers, and farm supply stores. You can also buy it in bulk to save money and ensure a steady supply of bird feed.

FAQs on Cracked Corn for Birds

Is cracked corn good for birds?

Yes, cracked corn is good for birds. It is packed with protein, fiber, and fat that birds need for energy. However, because it can attract a variety of wildlife, including pests, it should be used wisely and placed strategically to avoid unwanted visitors.

What birds like the cracked corn?

Birds that enjoy cracked corn typically include larger ground-feeding birds like pheasants, wild turkeys, grouse, mourning doves and quail. Smaller species such as sparrows, doves, and jays are also fans of cracked corn.

Do cardinals like cracked corn?

Yes, cardinals do eat cracked corn, although it is not their preferred food. They tend to favor black oil sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, and peanuts.

Is cracked corn or whole corn better for birds?

Cracked corn is generally better for most birds because it is easier for them to eat, especially for smaller birds. Whole corn kernels are often too large for smaller birds to eat comfortably.

Is cracked corn good for squirrels?

Yes, squirrels love to eat cracked corn. If you prefer not to attract squirrels, you may want to avoid using cracked corn or place it away from your bird feeders, you can make your own squirrel feeding area for it.

What small birds eat cracked corn?

Smaller wild birds that will eat cracked corn include sparrows, blue jays, and doves. They find the cracked corn easier to eat due to its smaller size compared to whole corn kernels.

Can birds eat corn?

Yes, birds can eat corn. It provides essential nutrients such as carbohydrates and proteins, which are beneficial for their overall health and energy levels. Both cracked corn and whole kernel corn are safe for birds. However, smaller birds might find it easier to eat cracked corn as whole kernels may be too big for them. Also, remember to offer corn that is free from mold or toxins as these could be harmful to the birds.

Birsd can also eat corn on the cob – just hang it out whether its cooked corn or raw.

Can you make your own cracked corn?

Absolutely, you can make your own cracked corn if you have whole corn kernels or dried corn kernels and a grain mill or a high-powered blender. To make cracked corn:

  1. Place the whole corn kernels into the mill or blender.
  2. Set your device to a medium grind setting. If using a blender, pulse it a few times. The goal is to break the kernels into smaller pieces, but not to pulverize them into a powder.
  3. Once you’re satisfied with the consistency, you can store the cracked corn in a sealed container to keep it fresh or add it to your bird seed mix. It’s important to include other seeds in your mix for a blanaced diet.

Only crack as much corn as you’ll use in a short period, as whole kernels have a longer shelf-life than cracked corn.

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