At Christmas you tend to end up wit a lot of leftovers by the end. Christmas is a time where we love to gorge of food and treat ourselves to all the luxurious treats they have in store, and sadly a lot of it ends up getting wasted and thrown away.

If you have a lot of left over food from Christmas, but you don’t want to see it go to waste then you can always leave it outside for the birds and other creatures that come to visit your garden, be aware though, there are a lot of food that can cause harm to birds and make them ill. This is what is important that you know what Christmas treats can birds eat?

Here are some of the Christmas treats birds and cannot eat.

robin bird in snow

Birds Can Eat:

There are a lot of foods birds can eat and many of them can be found in your own kitchen cupboards. birds are strong and resilient creatures and that can eat a lot of things you would expect them to.

Some of the food’s birds can eat incudes:


If you have left over cheese from Christmas, then you can leave it out for birds.


Bread is very good for birds and it is perfectly safe for them to eat in small doses. Any crusts or stale bread can be left out for them.


Birds need fat to survive, especially in winter. birds need to eat good fat so that they can stay warm in the winder. If you have any cooking fat left in your roasting tin after Christmas you can scrape it off and leave it out for birds. birds shouldn’t be given too much shalt however, so bacon fat or salted meat can be harmful to them.


Everybody loves a potato at Christmas dinner. Roast boiled or mashed potatoes are often the star of the Christmas dinner for some people. If you happen to have any left after everyone had finished eating, you can leave them out for birds as potatoes are perfectly fine for birds to eat.


Fruit is extremely healthy and good for birds to eat. Fruit contains a lot of good healthy nutrients and is high in the sugar birds need to fly. Birds can eat almost any fruit, include fruit that is damaged or rotten. So, if you find some old fruit that you can’t eat anymore, try leaving it out for the birds.


Whilst it’s not the healthiest thing for birds to eat, pastry still contains some of the nutrients they need, and pastry is perfectly safe for them to eat. So, any mince pies that have gone uneaten and stale can be left for birds.

Also remember that although these foods are safe for birds, they might not be safe other animals, including your pets. Make sure to place the food on a high surface like a bird table or the roof so that only birds can get to them.

sparrow birds on bread basket

Birds Can Not Eat:

Although birds are tough and cleaver creatures that have to eat what they can in the wild, there are a few food stuffs that they cannot eat. Be careful when feeding birds scraps as some of the food may be toxic to birds and can cause them some serious harm. some if the foods birds can’t eat include:


Like with most animals’ chocolate is harmful to birds. If birds eat chocolate, it can make them seriously ill so make sure you don’t leave any where they can find it.


Birds do need some salt to survive, just like we do, but they only need a small amount. Birds will easily find the amount of salt they need out in the wild and if you leave out salty food for them it might end up being to much for them.

Before you leave anything out for them like fat or peanuts, make sure they are not so high in salt that it will harm the bird.


At Christmas time a lot of food contains alcohol so something that might be ok for birds to eat normally might not be if they are soaked in alcohol. It only takes a small about of alcohol to make birds sick and they can easily get alcohol poisoning if they eat alcohol food or take a drink from an alcoholic beverage that has been left outside.


Foods like onions and garlic can thin the blood and this can be dangerous for birds. Whilst it’s ok to let birds have a little bit of onion, it’s best not to give them to many or they could become ill. After you have done preparing all the veg it’s perfectly safe to leave the ends and peels out for the birds, just keep an eye out for too much onion.

blue tit with popular bird feed of sunflower seeds