Do Birds Like Pumpkin Seeds? Absolutely! (+ Prep)

QuestionDo birds like pumpkin seeds?
AnswerYes, many birds can eat pumpkin seeds
More Info1. Nutritional Value: Pumpkin seeds are a nutritious snack for birds, offering protein, fats, and minerals like magnesium, zinc, and iron. 2. Preparation: It’s best to offer raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds. Roasted or salted seeds can be harmful to birds 3. Bird Preferences: While many birds enjoy pumpkin seeds, species like cardinals, sparrows, and finches are particularly fond of them. Always offer seeds in moderation as part of a varied diet. |

What Types of Birds Do Pumpkin Seeds Attract?

Birds can eat pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds can attract a variety of bird species, particularly those that enjoy feeding on seeds. Here are some common types of birds that are often attracted to pumpkin seeds:

  1. Cardinals: Known for their bright red plumage and beautiful songs, cardinals are fond of pumpkin seeds. They often visit bird feeders that offer these seeds.
  2. Sparrows: These small, social birds are frequent visitors to feeders with pumpkin seeds. They are adaptable and can be found in many environments.
  3. Finches: Various finch species, such as the American Goldfinch and House Finch, are attracted to pumpkin seeds. Their small beaks are well-suited for picking up these seeds.
  4. Chickadees: Cheerful and active, chickadees enjoy pumpkin seeds and often take them one at a time to a perch where they can break them open.
  5. Nuthatches: Nuthatches, with their unique ability to walk down tree trunks headfirst, are also attracted to pumpkin seeds at feeders.
  6. Woodpeckers: Various woodpecker species, including the Downy Woodpecker and Red-bellied Woodpecker, may be drawn to feeders offering pumpkin seeds.
  7. Titmice: These small, energetic birds, such as the Tufted Titmouse, are often seen at feeders with pumpkin seeds.
  8. Jays: Birds like the Blue Jay and Scrub Jay, known for their intelligence and striking appearance, also enjoy pumpkin seeds.

It’s important to note that while these birds are commonly attracted to pumpkin seeds, the types of birds that visit your feeder can vary based on your location and the time of year.

Additionally, offering a variety of seeds and food types can help attract a diverse range of bird species to your yard.

Seed Attraction By Bird Species (A Table)

seeds that are good for common us birds

Here’s a table of common U.S. songbirds and the types of seeds that typically attract them:

Songbird SpeciesPreferred Seed Types
CardinalsSunflower seeds, safflower seeds, cracked corn
ChickadeesBlack oil sunflower seeds, peanuts, suet
Finches (e.g., American Goldfinch, House Finch)Nyjer (thistle) seeds, sunflower seeds
SparrowsMillet, sunflower seeds, cracked corn
NuthatchesSunflower seeds, peanuts, suet
TitmiceSunflower seeds, peanuts, suet
JuncosMillet, cracked corn, sunflower seeds
Woodpeckers (e.g., Downy Woodpecker)Suet, sunflower seeds, peanuts
WrensSuet, finely chopped peanuts, sunflower seeds
Blue JaysSunflower seeds, peanuts, corn

This table represents general preferences, but individual birds might have unique tastes, and availability of food sources can influence their choices.

Additionally, offering a variety of seeds in different feeders can help attract a diverse range of songbirds to your yard.

Feeding Birds Roasted Vs. Unroasted Seeds

It’s better to feed birds unroasted pumpkin seeds.

  1. Nutrition: Unroasted (raw) pumpkin seeds are healthier for birds. Roasting can diminish the nutritional value and essential oils in the seeds.
  2. Safety: Roasted pumpkin seeds often contain salt or other seasonings that are harmful to birds. Unroasted seeds are safer as they are free from these additives.
  3. Digestibility: Raw pumpkin seeds are easier for birds to digest compared to roasted ones. The natural texture and softness of unroasted seeds are better suited for birds’ digestive systems.


So, you’ve just carved a jack o lantern, rinse the seeds and put them out for the birds. No need to cook them.