Popped or Unpopped: How Do Birds and Squirrels Prefer to Eat Corn?

Nature observation using items found around the house are my favorite activities.

Birds and animals show a remarkable ability to adapt to non-wild food sources.


  • One 8X11-inch piece of stiff cardboard
  • Glue
  • Two small plastic margarine or butter containers
  • Popcorn
  • A window you can open


1. Glue the plastic containers to one long edge of the cardboard.
2. Pop some of the corn without salt or butter.
3. Leave some corn unpopped.
4. Fill one container with the plain popped corn.
5. Fill the other container with the unpopped corn.
6. Place the cardboard on your windowsill, with the containers on the outside.
7. Close the window on the cardboard, so that the containers don’t move.


What kinds of birds come to the feeder?
What time of day do they come?
What do they prefer?

Do squirrels or other animals come to the feeder? When? What do they eat?

You may not get birds at first, so you can scatter birdseed or a bit of bread to attract them to your feeder.

Take this one step further:

What happens if you fill one of the containers wit fruit?

What happens if you fill one container with bread crumbs or cereal?

What happens if you fill one container with food and the other with water?

I’m always looking for ways to improve projects and activities. Contact me with your results or if anything is unclear to you.

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