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Can You Feed Unpopped Popcorn to the Birds?

Updated February 21, 2017

Most birds are not picky eaters. They will eat fruit, seeds, peanut butter, nuts and even popcorn. In fact, birds like unpopped popcorn kernels as well as popcorn that has already been popped.

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Unpopped popcorn may not be right for all birds. Pigeons, jays and woodpeckers will probably consume the hard kernels, but smaller birds may find them too large and hard. To make it easier for the birds to consume the kernels, soak them in water until they soften, or go ahead and pop the popcorn. Birds enjoy popped popcorn just as much, if not more.


If you pop the kernels for your birds, do not pop them in oil. Use an air popper instead, and do not add butter or salt. Moreover, do not serve microwave popcorn to birds, whether popped or unpopped. This food is loaded with salt, butter and artificial additives that are unhealthy for birds.

Other Options

Cracked corn can attract a wide variety of common backyard birds and even larger birds such as turkeys, crows and quail. If you have a problem with a pigeon, starling or cowbird population, however, avoid setting out cracked corn; these birds can quickly take over your property.

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