Sometimes you just want to switch things up by offering a different kind of food to the birds in your yard. In many cases, this food can be given to the birds; the only question is whether or not it belongs in a bird feeder.
Suspended bird feeders designed for use with seeds, pellets, peanuts, or mealworms should never be filled with oats of any kind. Wild birds can only be fed oats on an open platform or bird table. Keep in mind that only a small number of bird species actually enjoy eating oats, so you may want to combine them with other bird food to keep it from blowing away.
Keep using the bird feeder as directed if it is designed to suspend food like seeds, suet pellets, or nuts.
When feeding wild birds, it’s common practice to use an open dish or platform feeder, which allows for the experimentation of a wide variety of foods.
Feeders should never be filled with mushy foods like oats or cereal leftovers meant for birds.
Although all varieties of oats grown for human use can be consumed by wild birds, the number of bird species that actually eat oats is quite small.
Blue Jays, California Towhees, Common Grackles, Eurasian Tree Sparrows, House Sparrows, Mourning Doves, Northern Cardinals, and Red-Winged Blackbirds are just some of the species that may be drawn to oats.
Now that you’ve seen the list of birds that oats attract, ask yourself if you’re still excited about the idea of putting out oats in your backyard, open or closed feeder, knowing that the most common kinds of backyard birds it does attract aren’t exactly exciting.
The only birds I want visiting my feeders are the Red-winged Blackbirds, Cardinals, Blue Jays, and the occasional California Towhee.
Because sparrows tend to dominate bird feeders, I’ve learned to avoid attracting them.
If there are a lot of grackles around, the mourning doves won’t be able to find the smaller songbirds they need to survive on the ground.
The unifying denominator among these species is that they are all ground feeders that would not be interested in a bird feeder.
Many species can and do, but the larger grackles, doves, and even blue jays may become quite a nuisance.
Never put oats in a bird feeder, and instead use open dishes or trays with a mesh base. To avoid the oats from becoming too sticky on the surface of the bird feeder dish due to moisture, you should replace them frequently.
Even if you don’t feed oats to the birds in your hung bird feeder, which is often designed to hold peanuts or seeds, you should clean it as often as possible.
Mix oats in open tray only
In the wild, only a small percentage of birds are likely to eat your mix oats, and even fewer of those are the popular bird feeder birds that normally eat in the soil.
As you can see, the question of where and how to feed oats to birds is a considerable challenge.
Yes, you can give birds dry oats as long as they are placed in an easily available open dish or tray. As long as it is large and secure, a hanging dish can work instead of a mounted one.
Because most kinds of wild birds that consume grain or waste grain are ground feeding birds, or just too large to manage a limited bird feeder, providing oats to them might be a challenge.
It’s worth mentioning that, if given the opportunity, these same birds will consume Cheerios as well as a combination of ultra safe original cereals, provided they are left dry.
Among the birds that will feast on your cereals and, by extension, your oats, are sparrows (both house and tree varieties), cardinals, blue jays, blackbirds, doves, and grackles.
Take a look at all the many species of birds that enjoy eating oats, and tell me you won’t be pleased to attract them to your feeders.
Birds like doves and sparrows can be a nuisance, and larger birds like cardinals and blue jays are uncomfortable and unwieldy when it comes to eating from a small, hanging bird feeder.
Then, if you want to feed the birds that flock to your feeders regardless of size, you need make the tray accessible to all by stabilizing it.
Can clog up bird feeders
Oats, if kept dry, won’t develop into a gluey mess like they would if they were wet, but let’s be honest: you’ll probably need to store them in a sealed container or mix them in with other bird food to keep them from blowing away.
Wet oats spell disaster, as most birds will avoid feeding on the mushy mess.
Then consider that this wet slop is encased in a transparent tube, creating an even more humid and heated environment within the seed or tube feeder.
Even if the oats in your feeder aren’t directly exposed to the rain, you may still anticipate them to get wet and mushy.
This massive pile of wet oats is likely to jam the internal workings of any kind of feeder.
While oats would quickly escape through the holes in a mesh bird feeder, they would be trapped in the port wells of a seed feeder.
Over time, the oats will start to clump together as a result of an unexpected accumulation of moisture within them.
And there you have it; oats will inevitably clog up the inside of any enclosed bird feeder designed for seeds, mealworms, or peanuts, among other things, leaving the feeder unusable to the birds you’re trying to feed.
Oats simply blow away
Because of its light weight, dried oats will easily be blown away if not contained in a bird feeder.
Feeding oats to birds requires a special tray or dish with a perforated base, such as a mesh base, so that excess moisture may evaporate. However, this is not a justification to leave oats out in the rain.
Seeds, suet pellets, mealworms, and nuts are just some of the common bird foods that may be used to entice a variety of wild birds to a bird table or other type of platform.
Then continue to provide a healthy diet for the birds you feed in the wild by mixing oats into the seeds along with the other ingredients in this bird meal.
Although it will become sparser, there is little danger of this ultrafine grain disappearing in the wind.
I realize a covered feeder will keep the oats in place, however I can guarantee that no birds will eat oats from a perched feeder.
Then, a bird table or other sort of bird feeder dish is the best place to put the oats for the birds to eat.
Few birds will eat suspended oats
For the most part, wild birds recognize that the bird food in the feeders hanging from a pole or branch is nutritionally comparable to what they would eat in the wild, which is why they are attracted to it.
Wild birds who consume insects are fed mealworms, while birds that eat seeds from plants are fed a mixture of seeds comparable to what the plants originally produced.
When birds come to your feeder to eat peanuts or seeds, they are expecting to see at least one species they particularly enjoy.
When they realize there is none, all the oat-eating birds disappear.
Putting out only oats in a bird feeder is pointless since you either don’t have enough grain-eating birds in your area, or the birds you do have aren’t interested in eating oats.
Put out some oats on a bird table, but don’t forget the suet pellets and other treats that seem to be all the rage these days.
Birds that visit feeders hung from a pole or limb aren’t your average birds, and they won’t eat all you give them.
It’s a well-known fact that most backyard birds won’t eat what we put in front of them, even if it’s on a silver platter.
You should provide oats for the birds that consume grain, but the birds that regularly visit your feeder should be permitted to eat the wild bird food you provide.
It may seem natural to try feeding birds something new and different at the feeder, but oats are a strict no-no.
Oats are a dry, thick grain that will likely flow out of a peanut feeder manufactured with wire mesh or a seed feeder designed to filter seeds.
To keep the oats fresh, use a bird feeder that is always exposed to the weather, such as a platform, dish, or tray feeder.
Never use oats in a covered feeder, as birds only eat their favorites there. Any wild birds that visit your bird feeders will only be interested in the seeds, peanuts, or other common bird food that you have suspended in the feeders, I can guarantee you that.
When oats get wet inside of a bird feeder, they can form a glue-like substance that is difficult to remove and can encourage the growth of bacteria.
Oats aren’t typically offered at bird feeders, thus birds like blackbirds, doves, and grackles, which consume them, may be interested in eating them but be unable to do so.
Blue jays and cardinals can now enjoy the nutritious oats they so desperately need, but they will still be too large to perch on the enclosed bird feeder that is most likely to be used.
If you want to attract birds that eat oats but are largely ground dwellers, you should only put them on an open bird feeder tray.