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josie's avatar

Is the stuff in a bird feeder properly called "bird food" or "bird seed"?

Asked by josie (28695points) June 25th, 2011

A few years ago, in an attempt to develop the gentler side of my nature, I put out some bird feeders. The birds, and squirrels by the way, tear into and empty out those things in a heartbeat. I am constantly refilling them.

The other day I told my girlfriend I was out of bird food.

She laughed and said that nobody calls it “bird food”. It is called “bird seed”

Now wait a minute! She wasn’t born here. Her native languages are Arabic and Farsi. She still has an accent. I suppose she could be correct, but I need outside confirmation.

And while you are here-What do I do about the squirrels. They jump from a fence about 8 feet away. Completely by pass the squirrel guard. How far can those critters jump?

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13 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I call it bird seed. I’ve never heard it referred to as bird food, but I’m sure that is okay to say.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Your girlfriend is right.:)
I’ve heard squirrels can jump 8.5 feet

Aster's avatar

I call it birdseed but I don’t know much about squirrels.


Birdseed. It’s more specific, and that’s what usually goes into a birdfeeder. To me, bird food is a broad term, referring to anything that you can give birds to eat, including birdseed, suet, bread, scraps and leftovers, etc, which may be given to birds on various contraptions like trays, platforms, and other containers.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I’ve only heard bird seed used, although there are plenty of other options. For example, we’ve put out hummingbird feeders of sugar water, suet to attract the insect eating varieties, and cracked corn kernels. In these cases, it would be proper to call them ‘bird food’, but we just refer to them as what they specifically are.

chyna's avatar

In your case it should be squirrel food.

Blondesjon's avatar

It’s bird feed.

Bird seed is what one uses to grow birds.

<sigh> city folk

WasCy's avatar

It’s actually squirrel food. The birds are lucky to get any.

I can’t improve on @Blondesjon‘s bon mot.

Everybody beat me to the good answers.

ucme's avatar

I like to call it “birdy buffet” coz i’m stoopid like dat ;¬}

Aster's avatar

On the packages it reads, “birdseed” correct?

redfeather's avatar

I call it bird seed. For my pet bird I just say she needs food.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I call it squirrel bait.

tedibear's avatar

I must be a complete weirdo then, because I say “food for the birds.” As in, “I need to put out food for the birds.”

As an aside, if your birdfeeders – look at that, they’re feeders not seeders- though if your birds are Jewish they could be seders… are on poles, this type of squirrel baffle has worked perfectly for us. It didn’t stop the raccoon that we saw yesterday, but the squirrels are flummoxed by it.

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