Our winged pets and the wild birds in our yard are so fun to watch and interact with each day. It makes sense that you might want to create food or toys for them to enjoy. When it comes to foods that you can feed your birds, popcorn is a good option. Making popcorn balls to give them will be a fun experience for both you and the birds.
Both pet birds and wild birds can eat popcorn so making popcorn balls will be a nice treat. Using air-popped popcorn is best as it avoids any additives that are not suitable for the birds. Also, adding dried fruit and other seeds will make the birds excited to start nibbling their popcorn balls.
So, now you can make your pet birds and wild birds happy with popcorn balls that are so easy to make. At our house we put four at a time in our backyard and they are gone by the end of the day.
Can Wild Birds Eat Popcorn Kernels?
Most of the wild birds that you see flying around your area are likely omnivores that eat a combination of plant-based and animal-based food items. In most cases, birds like feeding on seeds and grains.
Therefore, popcorn can be a good addition to a bird’s regular diet and throwing some unpopped kernels of popcorn outside can be a good way to attract wild birds to your backyard, considering that corn kernels are perfectly safe for them to eat.
I recommend boiling the kernels for 3-4 minutes to soften the hulls. Once you boil the kernels you will not be able to use those kernels for popping popcorn.
Can Wild Birds Eat Popped Popcorn?
On the other hand, while popcorn kernels are safe for wild birds, does that mean that popped popcorn is just as safe for them? Wild birds can eat popped popcorn because it is just the popped version of the popcorn kernels that they can safely eat.
However, the one thing you need to remember is that you should only be feeding wild birds plain popcorn and not varieties that come with different flavors that may be unsafe for birds to eat.
Can Pet Birds Eat Popcorn Kernels?
Pet birds that eat grains and seeds can eat popcorn kernels. You can boil the kernels to soften them up for the birds (boil for 3-4 minutes).
Can Pet Birds Eat Popped Popcorn?
Considering that popcorn kernels are perfectly safe for pet birds, it follows that they can also eat popped popcorn.
Again, just make sure that you are feeding your pet bird popcorn that is plain and doesn’t come with flavorings such as butter, sugar, or even salt.
How to Make Your Popcorn Balls
If you want to make popcorn balls for your pet birds or to attract wild birds to your yard, here are the ingredients that you will be needing:
- 6-7 cups of air-popped popcorn
- 1 cup of birdseed (any kind of birdseed will do but wild bird seeds are better)
- ¼ cup of dried berries (cranberries or blueberries will do, dried apricots or cherries can also be good)
- 4 tablespoons of unsalted peanut butter (naturally flavored with no added sugars)
- Cooking spray (spray on your hands to avoid popcorn balls ingredients sticking to your hands)
Here are the supplies that you will be using to make this recipe:
- Large mixing bowl
- Twine or Sisal rope (all natural with no dyes)
- Wooden spoon (for stirring)
Now that we have all of our supplies, here is what you will need to do to make this recipe:
- Pop the popcorn in the air popper without any toppings or seasonings.
- You can heat the peanut butter if you want, but you can also use it as is and add it to the entire mixture. Heating the peanut butter will give it a more liquid consistency. Again, it is best to use peanut butter with no added salt and sugars.
- In a large bowl, combine the peanut butter and the popcorn. Mix carefully using your wooden spoon.
- Add the bird seeds and the berries to the bowl while slowly and carefully mixing the ingredients together. Make sure that you use a wooden spoon to mix the ingredients together so that you don’t end up contaminating the mixture with any metals or plastic.
- Allow the mixture to cool before forming them into balls. The mixture should be cool enough when you touch them. Line the counter with parchment paper.
- Spray your hands with the nonstick cooking spray to make sure that the mixture will not stick on your hands.
- Grab a handful of popcorn and shape them into balls that are the size of a tennis ball.
- Press the ball firmly so that the popcorn, seeds, and berries will not come loose and place on the parchment paper
- Use the twine to wrap around the ball and tie to it a tree or your bird stand.
- Now, you can feed the balls to your birds or store them in an airtight container for later use.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Type Of Popcorn Should You Use?
When you are choosing the type of popcorn that you will use for this recipe, it is best to use air-popped popcorn and any kernel type will work. Ensure that you do not salt the popcorn as it can be unsafe for the birds. Plain popcorn is the best choice.
How Many Popcorn Balls Does Each Recipe Make?
This recipe will make 12 popcorn balls. If you want to double that number to feed plenty of birds, you can simply double the measurements of the ingredients in the recipe.
How Do You Store The Popcorn Balls?
The best way to store your popcorn balls is to keep them in an airtight container. Make sure that you store them in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight.
You can store these balls for up to three days but it is best to feed them to your birds before the third day to make sure that they are as fresh as possible.
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