Instead of throwing the spare pumpkin seeds on the compost, consider turning them into bird feed.

© Kurt Bauschardt, flickr

Pumpkin seeds great bird food

Halloween season is getting close. Soon you can go out to the pumpkin patches, pick your pumpkin and carve a scary jack-o’-lantern. After you are done carving, you will end up with a lot of spare pumpkin seeds. Instead of throwing them on the compost, consider turning them into bird feed. Birds love chowing down on pumpkin seeds. But before putting them out for the birds, make sure that you prepare them accordingly.

© Bryan French Photography, Flickr

Preparing Pumpkin Seeds for Birds

Preparing the seeds requires only very little preparation. Simply rinse them with clean water to remove the majority of the pulp. Now, you can either just put them on a tray, and place it in a sunny spot to dry. Stir or turn them every hour or two for even drying.
A faster way of drying them would be to roast them in the oven. To do so, spread the seeds in a thin layer on a cookie sheet, and roast them for about 20-30 minutes at 95–150°C (or 200-300°F). Turn the seeds every few minutes so the roast evenly and do not burn on one side.
Once the seeds are completely cooled down, you can add them to a bird feeder whole. If you want to attract smaller birds as well, it will be best to crush the seeds using a rolling pin or a mortar. It can take some time for birds to discover the pumpkin seeds. But once they learn about these new seeds, many birds will happily enjoy the autumn feast.

Why are pumpkin seeds great bird food?

In fall, when the birds need more energy than in any other season. They need to recharge the batteries to fuel migration, molt into winter plumage, or simply to store fat to resist the cold months ahead. Pumpkin seeds are packed with nutrients and healthy fats and are therefore a great addition to wild bird’s diet.