Food for birds

Robin and ant ©Janet Allen
A robin eyeing a delicious ant
(at the right)

An extremely important source of food for birds is insects.

This robin quickly devoured the ant immediately after I took the shot. (Usually birds aren't so cooperative!)

Insects are an especially important food for feeding their young.

And how to provide insects in your yard? Plant native plants—the plants insects co-evolved with!

Feeding mealworms to the baby(Enlarge) ©Janet Allen
Anyone with children can guess which one is the parent

We also supplement with suet and also with mealworms.

Birds love these, but providing these is not as important as supplying "real" insects in the yard.

Like other artificial means of feeding birds, it's more for our benefit.

We especially enjoy providing mealworms for chickadees when they're raising their demanding babies.

Baby robin eating a serviceberry ©Janet Allen
Baby robin eating a serviceberry

Other important sources of food include seeds and berries, and to a lesser extent (lesser only if you don't happen to be one of the birds that depend on it) nectar.

Again, a variety of native plants best meets these food requirements. The native berries, for example, have more of the nutrition native birds need.