Updated at: 06-06-2023 - By: Jane Brody

It’s no secret that birds prefer to forage for food on the ground, with several species eating mostly on the grass.

In the natural, ground-feeding birds will eat seeds from the ground, specifically the grass. As seed blends are the primary food source for these organisms, everything is ready to go. Avoid bad weather because birds eat less during downpours and storms and save money by not wasting too many seeds.

Do Birds Eat Seeds-2

Most birds in your yard can get all the food they need from the ground, so you don’t even need bird feeders to keep them fed.

If you can’t find a suitable area on your deck or pathway for feeding your birds, don’t worry; the birds will eat the seeds everywhere, including the lawn, as long as you pick them up once they’re done.

Seeds will perish in a matter of days if left on the ground, therefore even in ideal conditions, a short shelf life should be expected. Due to the unfavorable climatic circumstances, the seeds may germinate and lead to a significant increase in bacterial growth.

Birds might rather browse on the lawn than the deck, but they can still eat the same things they would in the wild, like insects and worms.

If you want to avoid wild birds from making a racket all over the yard while they eat, it may be a good idea to restrict their seed distribution to an area no larger than four square feet.

If you want to keep the area under your bird feeders tidy, you should probably start tossing more seeds down there. At least some of the birdseed that falls from feeders will be eaten if this works.

Birds eat seeds off ground

Any technique you like is fine for scattering bird seed on the ground, but a good practice is to carefully toss it over the lawn for the birds to enjoy.

Birds will take seeds from the ground, but only if they are placed in a secure area that is still inside the boundaries of the authorized feeding area.

Instead of scattering seeds over a large area of lawn, you should focus on a 4 square foot area. That’s helpful since it means the birds just have to forage in a small area, rather than spending time flying all over the place.

You should expect to see a variety of ground-feeding birds in your yard, including blue jays, northern cardinals, robins, and bluebirds.

These birds require easily available seed mixtures, specifically those containing sunflower seeds.

If your yard has a pest or pet problem, or if it’s too crowded with people, the birds won’t eat the bird seeds you scatter on the ground.

Seed mixes will expire

Do Birds Eat Seeds

Remember that seed mixtures, like any bird food, have a shelf life and should not be tossed carelessly on the ground.

Instead of just throwing bird seed on the ground whenever, I’d prefer if you planned it out.

Your goal should be to broadcast the seeds around the lawn as soon in the morning as possible. Only then will the ground feeders have all morning and afternoon to devour the seeds before the birds arrive to feed.

Feeding birdseed in a feeder will extend the life of the seeds by several days compared to scattering the seeds on the ground, where they will rot in just a couple of days.

It’s best to exclusively use seeds when providing ground-level bird food, as seeds have a longer shelf life than other options like peanuts or suet. When you see bird seed on the ground, pick it up and put it away until you can replenish it with a fresh batch.

You can do this by keeping a mop and brush outside just for cleaning up bird seed that wasn’t consumed in time, or by picking up any uneaten seeds by hand. Just make sure not to scatter the seeds too far!

Avoid in poor conditions

Seeds for birds that are scattered on the ground rather than kept dry in a bird feeder sometimes rot away in a matter of days.

To make matters worse, the environment on the ground is cold, wet, and can give out a lot of heat, making it ideal for the rapid germination of bird seeds. Premises that are ideal for the growth of microorganisms.

You should wait until early in the morning to scatter seeds for the birds, and you should skip the practice altogether if it’s raining.

If you scatter seeds on the ground when it’s raining, they won’t be eaten until the rain stops.

If the rain is light enough, birds will continue to dine on the insects and worms that crawl to the surface.

When worms are abundant in the yard, seeds will still be consumed, but much less so.

Wet weather accelerates the germination process of seeds, which combined with fewer seeds being eaten can lead to an unsightly and perhaps hazardous mess in your yard.

Seeds safe on lawn

Do Birds Eat Seeds-3

The best place to attract ground-dwelling birds is, in my opinion, on the lawn, where it will be less disturbed and more appreciated by the local wildlife.

Birds, in my opinion, prefer to forage in an area that is as close as possible to the habitat in which they graze in the wild. This region can be longer grass, a muddy patch, or the boundary of the yard that has more mud than grass.

As a result, birds are more likely to hunt for their food, such as insects and worms, on the grass.

If you put out bird seed when they are out foraging, they will find it and hopefully eat it. As a means of protecting local wildlife, scatter bird seed over a small patch of grass (no more than 4 square feet) and call it good.

The only place where bird food may rot away without posing a threat to you is on the lawn, yet birds will eat off the pavement, the deck, and other things in the yard. Also, it’s okay to let the seeds decay, but you should clean up the area as much as possible before introducing a new batch.

Keep an eye on where the birds in your yard congregate, and make that your seed-throwing zone.

In addition, the ground beneath bird feeders is an excellent location for scattering seeds.


The birds in your yard will eat seeds right off the ground, I promise.

Some birds simply aren’t suited to using bird feeders because it goes against their instinct to do so. All ground-feeding birds, in the wild, forage for food on the ground, where they eat a variety of seeds.

A word of caution: while the bird seed mixes freely available to the public may last for a while in feeders, they will spoil far more quickly if tossed on the ground.

Only spread seeds over an area of 4 square feet to keep birds from foraging elsewhere in the area.

This will let you get rid of old bird seed before it spoils, and then reuse that space to scatter new seed when the time comes.

Due to the rapid germination that occurs under suboptimal conditions at ground level feeding locations, their shelf lives are shortened. The bird seed mixtures might be ruined by too much heat, too much moisture, or too many insects.

Feeding birds during wet weather can be dangerous, therefore it’s best to wait for the rain to pass before putting out any seeds, or only do so in a protected, high location such as a ground feeder.

Feeding birdseed mixes on the lawn is the most secure option, as the seeds can decompose there without causing a slipping hazard or a bug infestation on the deck or path.

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