How Much Seed Do Birds Eat In a Day?

••• TasfotoNL/iStock/GettyImages

There are over 9,300 bird species worldwide, with South America claiming the most at around 2,500. North America has around 900 bird species. Birds eat different amounts and types of food depending on species, size and season.

General Consumption Guidelines

On average, birds eat approximately 1/2 to 1/4 of their body weight every day. For example, a 2 lb. cardinal, a seed-eating bird, would consume approximately 1/2 to 1 lb. of seeds per day.

Identifying Seed Eaters

Different species eat different foods, and some rarely consume seeds. Seed-eating birds are fairly easy to identify, however, by their thick, cone-shaped beaks or bills, which are good for cracking their food. Examples of seed-eating birds include grosbeaks, sparrows, towhees, finches and several varieties of song birds. To calculate how much seed to place in a feeder, estimate the total weight of the seed-eating birds that frequent the yard and divide by two. Reduce the amount if not all the food is consumed.

Seasonal Variation

While precisely how much seed is eaten varies by species, birds eat more in the winter than in the summer due to metabolic needs. For example, a sparrow can only survive 15 hours without food in 5 degree Fahrenheit conditions, but three days in warm summer conditions.

Related Articles

What Do Wild Birds Eat?
Wild Field Mouse Diet
How to Make Hummingbird Nectar
How to Attract Pigeons
What Foods Do Animals Eat in the Tundra?
Are Poppy Seeds Bad for Birds?
How to Make Squirrel Food
Information on the Cardinal Bird
How to Differentiate Between a Male & Female Sparrow
The Biome and Ecosystem of the Burrowing Owl
Hummingbird Season in Texas
Can You Feed Roasted Sunflower Seeds to Birds?
How Do I Know When My Zebra Finch Bird Is Pregnant?
What Do Owls Eat?
Characteristics Of Doves
Gestation Periods for Birds
Bird Feeders & Rats
How Do Birds React to Sesame Seeds?
How to Feed Oranges to Wild Birds
Birds That Eat Pine Cone Seeds

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!