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

Even if you live in a wet climate, you should still provide feed for the birds that visit your yard.

Smaller bird feeders can be hung beneath a squirrel baffle to protect them from the rain, and this is how you can feed birds in wet weather. You may also use a real umbrella on a pole to shelter a collection of bird feeders from the rain. Bird seed should be replaced daily, and wet bird food should not be thrown on the ground unless it is under cover.

wet bird seed

If you don’t have any bird feeders, you can always just sprinkle some bird seed or other food on the ground for the birds in your yard, but make sure it’s under some sort of cover.

Some examples of shelter include dry ground under an overhanging roof, a detached building in the yard, or even just the shadows cast by nearby trees or hedges.

All birds can’t be expected to eat from the ground, thus it’s important to provide bird feeders. Feeders, or at least well-sealed feeders, are the best option for ensuring that bird food stays dry and usable.

Even while keeping bird food dry is important to ensure it lasts as long as possible, it is possible for bird feeders to get moist.

A simple squirrel baffle can provide some shelter from the weather by keeping rain away from the feeders; it is made to hang above the feeders and has a hole in the center to let squirrels in.

Many of these strategies are also applicable to how you feed birds in the snow, as they provide effective protection from precipitation.

The food in bird feeders runs the risk of becoming moist if you don’t keep the feeders as dry as possible; water can seep in through the port wells or through the openings through which the birds eat.

In long periods of wet weather, it is not a bad idea to change bird food on a regular basis even if you choose to continue feeding birds in a feeder or providing natural shelter in the yard.

Use Squirrel Baffle to keep off rain

As a precaution, it’s best to keep all bird food in a hanging bird feeder rather than letting it fall on the ground.

A squirrel baffle is a special type of rain gutter designed to be hung from a roof or other overhead structure to direct precipitation away from your home.

Don’t worry; normally, a baffle like this would be used to prevent squirrels from jumping to their death from a bird feeder, but in this case, we’re going to repurpose it as a shelter.

This large, transparent plastic screen prevents rain and snow from penetrating hanging squirrel baffles. Therefore, it will shield any hanging bird feeder from harm.

Squirrel baffles are installed in the spot where the bird feeder was supposed to go, with the baffle installed first and the feeder attached to a hoop attached to the baffle’s bottom. So long as that stays smack in the middle, everything else can remain in equilibrium.

Any bird feeder that can be hung from the ceiling can be used, although a shorter, narrower feeder will be more protected from the elements than a larger feeder that may be left open on the sides.

Think about the type of bird feeder you intend to use before purchasing a larger baffle.

Group feed under umbrella

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I personally adore this idea, as it includes a basic but interesting umbrella if you wish to be installed on the pole of a bird feeding station.

Using the umbrella’s handle as a pivot, you can fasten it to the pole with a rope or wire. In the end, you’d have a pole for a bird feeder with an umbrella perched on top, giving the impression that it’s a hat.

Keeping bird food dry in any kind of rain is possible with this strategy, as an umbrella can be rather large, covering not only one but multiple feeders at once.

If you want to keep your bird feeder dry, don’t put it at ground level, but rather use the brackets provided for bird feeding stations higher up the pole.

This won’t stop any birds from enjoying the convenience of bird feeders, but it may discourage some species that are considered pests from perching nearby.

One potential pitfall of this strategy is that a gust of wind can flip the umbrella over, just as it can for a person.

Restock wet feed daily

You don’t have to do anything special when it rains for wild birds to get fed, as their food can absorb the moisture.

This is because you will need to restock the bird feed every week or two during the winter, and every day during the summer. Bird food only has a few days on it once unsealed, before bacteria begins to germinate.

Because of this, wild bird food, such as bird seeds, can get damp in bird feeders, but you should hopefully replace it several times a week to keep freshness.

I will suggest refill any form of bird feed daily if bird food is on the ground or exposed to the weather. A bird feeder, on the other hand, can add a few days to the life of bird food.

If left out in the open, bird food can quickly soften and begin to decay, a sign that bacteria are present but not readily apparent to the naked eye.

There’s no harm in being too cautious about the health of backyard birds, so make sure to restock bird feed as often as possible during wet weather.

No bird food on ground

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It is no longer acceptable to feed birds on the ground, yet an above-ground feeder can be used to attract ground-feeding species.

Even in perfect conditions, bird food will quickly spoil if it is left on the ground. As a result of the rapid germination process that occurs on damp ground, bird food quickly loses its quality and is no longer fit for consumption.

With a few exceptions, I’d like to ask that you refrain from offering ground-level bird food to the birds that visit your yard.

If you want to feed the birds, do it on the lawn rather than the deck or the concrete driveway when it rains.

Where you place bird food on the ground matters too, with any cover from trees, bushes or structures being the key goal to aim for.

Do not use peanuts or suet because they germinate at an accelerated rate. I would thus only feed birds on the ground in a protracted run of damp weather a handful of seeds or dry mealworms.

Do not stop providing this method of feeding to ground-dwelling birds, but consider reducing the amount of food you provide at once.


As it happens this isn’t actually an issue you should be striving so hard to achieve, as bird feed is designed to become wet, and hence be overly exposed to severe weather.

Maintaining a constant, dry environment for bird feed can help the food last longer.

You should then hang bird feeders with your wild bird food. Most rain will be kept off the food in feeders, ensuring that the bird seed will remain in good condition for a longer period of time.

Mount the bird feeders in the same location as before, but this time shield them from precipitation by suspending a squirrel baffle above them.

The next strategy is not one I came up with, although it does require the use of a bird feeding station pole.

Just attach a genuine umbrella to the pole, and its wide arc will provide shelter for as many bird feeders as you have, keeping them dry even if they are hung from the pole at a greater height.

These bird feeders can still be used by the birds under the cover of an umbrella, and the presence of the umbrella will deter any large birds from settling in the yard.

When there is a chance of rain for several days, or if you live in a particularly humid area, you should replenish your bird feeders daily, as the wetness will soften and spoil the food within a few of days.

Do not toss bird feed on the ground during wet weather, since this can hasten the germination process. Seeds and dried mealworms are the best options for feeding birds in the grass during wet weather, but suet and peanuts should be avoided.

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