Friday, November 18, 2011


I've always been interested in birds and what they do in the winter for food.  I've always left the berries and seeds on different perennials, trees and bushes that I know they can feed on, but there are also many things we can do to feed birds in the winter months, especially when those sources are scarce. Feeding them can be fun and very rewarding. Here are a few tips for beginners that want to attract and feed the birds that stay around in winter:

  • TO ATTRACT THE LARGEST NUMBER OF BIRDS: Hopper and platform feeders are best with a wide cover over the feeding areas so the seed won't get buried in snow.  If they can fly through, it's even better.
  • WHERE TO PUT YOUR FEEDER: Place your feeder in a sheltered location.  A place close to your house makes it nice so you can watch, in a place where they'll be protected from predators, but make sure it's about 5 or more feet away from walls or windows, which will help minimize collisions.
  • HOW BIG SHOULD THE FEEDER BE: Because you don't want to be filling the feeder real often, if you have a large one, it's better.  Just be sure that the seed isn't getting soggy--you don't want mildew or spoiling seeds. NOTE: Platform feeders should be emptied and refilled daily for this purpose.
  • WHY KEEP MY FEEDER CLEAN: For one thing, birds will be attracted to your feeder in snowy weather, when insects and fruits are harder to find, so they will be feeding on seeds and you'll want to keep your feeder clean and safe for them to keep them healthy as well.
  • WHAT KIND OF FEED SHOULD BE PROVIDED? Seeds and nuts high in fat or oil are best.  These include peanut butter, hulled peanuts, black oil sunflower seeds and suet mixes with seeds or fruit.
  • WHAT SPECIES OF BIRDS WILL BE FEEDING? Seed-eaters include  cardinals, titmice, chickadees and finches.  Goldfinches like thistle seeds.  Woodpeckers and nuthatches like suet.
  • WHAT CAN I DO IF I DON'T HAVE A FEEDER? You can buy suet in blocks or bags and hang them from tree branches if you don't have a feeder.  Another thing we've done is spread peanut butter thoroughly on a big pine cone, then roll it in seeds/nuts.  These are also hung from trees throughout the yard.  The birds love it!
There is a joy that comes from watching our fine feathered friends feed during the winter months.  If you haven't fed the birds in winter, Try it, I think you'll really enjoy it!
Susanne Holland Spicker Mother, Grandmother, Homemaker, Gardener, Teacher, Photographer

Passion is defined as the love of, or the object(s) of affection and emotion. I am passionate about family, friends, flowers, food, photography and fabulous music! This blog is dedicated to those loves.

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