Backyard birds need us more than ever in the winter months. Create a happy healthy environment for them by following these tips and they will provide you with hours of bird watching enjoyment.
- Provide a variety of feeding stations for your feathered visitors and you will attract a wide selection of birds.
- A winter bird feeder should offer winter protection to the birds in snowy climates with a wide cover over the feeding ports or trays. This will not only protect the birds but will keep the seed from being buried in snow. A large capacity bird feeder will keep the birds happy and reduce the number of fill ups required.
- A bird house provides a warm, safe nesting place for birds even in the winter. So if you have one, leave it in place. The cooler weather is also a good time to add a new bird house for early scouts.
- A bird bath is also a necessity in winter months and in some climates a tremendous help to the bird population when lakes and streams are frozen. This is the time to add a heated birdbath or purchase a safe heating element for your regular birdbath.
- If you have a humming bird feeder, the colder weather provides the perfect opportunity to take it down, clean it thoroughly and store it until spring. If it needs replacing now is a great time to find them on sale.
- Insects and fruit are in short supply in most areas during the winter months so the birds will rely more heavily on seeds. A high fat diet gives them the extra energy they need as well. Include: black oil sunflower seeds, suet mixes with seeds or fruit, white millet seed, peanut butter, peanuts and Nyjer/thistle seeds, safflower seeds, meal worms, cracked corn. If you use a mixed seed be sure it is a good quality.
- Fall is the perfect time to stock up on bird seed as it is usually on sale. Keep it in a cool dry place and it will keep for months. Use a large, metal or plastic container such as an empty cat or dog food container for easy storage and access.