If you’ve been rolling and tucking the edges on a bag of store-bought bird food – don’t worry, we’ve all been there – it’s time to upgrade your system. Whether you’re a fan of setting out sunflower seeds, mealworms, peanuts, or seed combos, having the proper storage system in place can have a big impact on shelf life and overall cleanliness. Take a look at these top storage tips for keeping bird food fresh.
What’s Wrong with the Bag it Came in?
Keeping food in its original container can be a grand invitation for insects, rats, mice, and raccoons to treat themselves to a free and easy feast. Rodents are more than capable of clawing and chewing their way through a flimsy plastic bag. Not only does this cut down the supply of bird food on-hand, but it also provides a prime opportunity for disease and contamination to spread.
In addition to inviting all sorts of unwanted guests, most original bird seed and food containers are not air-tight. Even resealable packages are still capable of letting in some air. This is a problem because the food can dry out quickly in warm conditions and become moldy in humid conditions.
Best Storage Containers for Bird Food
The best containers for storing bird food are those that provide an air-tight seal and are durable enough to stand up to a tussle with heavy chewers and scratchers, like raccoons and opossums. In addition, a quality container should be relatively easy to access. After all, you still want to be able to get into it yourself! Take a look at the best container options for bird food storage.
More Birds® 3N1 Super Tote – The crème of the crop, this container was designed specifically with birdwatchers in mind. A secure cover properly protects the tote from moisture and dryness in the air, and the pour spot allows super easy access for users. This container is also a moderate size, meaning it holds enough to store a long-lasting supply without holding so much that it becomes too heavy to carry from feeder to feeder.
Plastic Food Container – Plastic containers designed for keeping leftover food fresh are also great options for storing bird food, as they usually include an air-tight seal. The downside, however, is that they are generally quite small, so you’ll only be able to store a small amount of food. When picking a plastic container, opt for one that’s advertised as food-safe. (Note: BPA-free plastic is even better!)
Dog Food Storage Container – Available at many pet supply stores, dog food storage containers are much larger than regular food containers, allowing you to stash a significant amount of bird food. These containers are usually designed with a flip-top lid that’s big enough to fit a scoop inside. While the seals may not be 100% air-tight, they are usually pretty close.
Small Metal Trash Can – An old-fashioned method for storing bird food, small metal trash cans are great for keeping out rodents, as the lids are quite heavy and can’t be chewed through. Metal trash cans are a good option if you plan on keeping a large amount of bird food on-hand. Just keep an eye out for ants, as they can sometimes find their way in under the lid. In addition, it’s best to keep the can out of the elements, as exposure to rain and snow can cause some metal bins to rust and form holes over time.
Picking the Best Place to Stash Bird Food
In addition to having the right container, choosing where to store your stash is equally important. First off, make sure you pick a cool and dry space, as excessive moisture and/or heat can wreak havoc on bird food, sometimes causing it to rot and become rancid.
Another tip is to pick a place that provides easy access. Refilling bird food containers can feel like a nightmare if getting to the bins requires going up or down stairs, unlocking doors, or moving aside lawn equipment. The more accessible your stash, the more likely you are to feed the birds frequently, which makes for much better backyard birdwatching!
While you want the bird food storage container to be accessible, it’s best to keep it separate from indoor living spaces. After all, bird food can be messy, and even a few crumbs from a sloppy scoop can be a resounding call for rodents to come around. The shed, garage, barn, or back porch are all good options for keeping your supply nearby but safely out of the way.