Is Unpopped Popcorn Safe For Birds?

If you are a bird owner, you want to make sure you are feeding your pet correctly.

Not only do you want them to have nutritious meals, but snacktime is important as well.

There is a wide range of snack food to choose from when deciding what to feed your bird.

One such item is unpopped popcorn.

Although humans cannot have unpopped popcorn as it is hard to bite, birds have beaks that can help them eat it.

However, especially if you have a smaller bird, it might help to boil the unpopped kernels in some plain water to soften them a bit.

Can Birds Eat Popcorn?

If you want to give your bird a special treat, you can certainly give it some popcorn.

However, there are some caveats you should be aware of.

First of all and most importantly, popcorn of any sort, whether microwaved, pre-popped, air-popped, or unpopped, should be completely plain with no salt, no toppings, and no fat.

Most microwavable or pre-popped popcorns are seasoned with a lot of salt and fat which are toxic for birds.

The high sodium and fat content will surely make your bird ill.

So if you feed your bird popcorn, make sure it is completely plain.

Secondly, even if you feed your bird popcorn that is dressed with the tiniest bit of oil in an air popper, popcorn does not have the vitamins and nutrients a bird needs.

This means that this snack is not a substitute for a proper meal. Make sure the popcorn is not offered often and only as a treat.

As with popped popcorn, it is important to note that unpopped popcorn kernels should also be unsalted and undressed.

What Snacks Are Good For Birds?

Besides plain popcorn, what other snacks can you give to your pet bird?

Here are some great snack options that not only taste good but are also nutritious.

  • Sweet potatoes – sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber and vitamin A. Eating this delicious snack will keep your bird’s eyes healthy as well as its heart. Related article – Can budgies eat yams?
  • Grapes – grapes are another great source of fiber for your bird. Cut one or two grapes up into smaller chunks so that your bird can eat it. Make sure to properly wash the skin before you serve it to your bird to remove all pesticides and bacteria.
  • Nuts – nuts are a part of some birds’ diets but other birds can only have them as a snack. Although a great source of protein, be careful not to feed them too many nuts as they are high in fat.
  • Cooked beans – cooked beans are also great for your bird. There’s a wide variety of beans to choose from, but make sure it is cooked, not raw. Uncooked beans are toxic to birds.

What Snacks Should You Avoid?

On the other hand, what snacks should you avoid feeding your bird?

Some of these snacks are fed to birds quite often, so you may be surprised to hear that you should actually avoid feeding these to birds.

  • Bread – bread is very commonly thrown to birds of all sorts to snack on. However, you should avoid feeding this to birds. Bread has almost no nutritional value, so filling up birds with bread will lead to unhealthy and sick birds.
  • Junk food – you might think your potato chips are a fine snack for your bird, but in reality, the high sodium and/or sugar content found in these snacks can be toxic for your bird.
  • Milk – birds are usually lactose intolerant, meaning they cannot properly digest milk. Just like salt, birds can tolerate tiny quantities of it, but any snack that has a high milk content should be avoided. This includes cheeses.
  • Fruit pits and seeds – although fruit is a great snack for birds, the pits are toxic. So if you feed your bird an apple, pear, apricot, or cherry, make sure to remove the pit or seed first.

If you have a budgie you’ll find this article helpful – Can budgies eat popcorn?

Can Birds Eat Popcorn Seed?


Birds can eat popcorn seeds.

It’s actually a great snack for them too

It can be eaten by both wild birds and pet birds

So you can give popcorn seed to birds

Do make sure you always seek advice from an expert such as your avian vet if you’re giving popcorn seed to your pet bird

Wrapping Up

Birds like to snack on things throughout the day just like we do.

It’s a good thing to feed them snacks as it keeps them busy and, done properly, it will provide further nutritional value.

One good snack option for birds is unsalted popcorn or unpopped kernels.

You can feed this to your bird with no worries.

There are many other snacks you can give to your bird to keep it happy and healthy, but there are also other snacks that you should avoid.

So make sure you do your research beforehand!

We at write about bird health and diet however it should not be taken as medical advice. For advice on your bird you need to seek out an avian vet. The information you find on is for educational purposes only. At we are not liable for any information that you may find on here. Birdcageshere is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice about your bird.