Tips On Winter Bird Feeding
Winter is a crucial time for birds that remain in our area. They spend their time facing the elements of bitter cold and snowstorms. There are no insects to eat and natural seeds are covered with snow; the berries and crab apples are long gone.
Birds need enough food to maintain their body temperatures and must search for food from sun up to dusk. Fortunately, for the birds, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 41 million Americans spend $2 billion annually on bird feed and the numbers are increasing yearly.
Some simple tips to help the birds are as follows:
Use Feeders With Good Size Capacity:
And/ or use multiple feeders to provide ample food especially during snow and ice storms.
Provide Nutritious Winter Foods:
Seed mixes of: black oil sunflower seed, hulled peanuts, nyger seed and white millet seed.
Offer Fatty Food:
Birds need to burn more calories in the winter just to stay warm. Suet is considered a high energy food because it consists of fat. Peanut Butter is also popular with our flying friends but more expensive than suet. Suet feeders are a favorite of woodpeckers and other insect-eating birds.
Keep Your Feeders Full:
Winter birds need to stock up on calories especially for those long, cold winter nights.
Be Consistent And Keep Feeding Through The Winter:
Birds grow accustomed to feeders in their area especially in severe weather when the snacks offered may mean their very survival. Have neighbor or friend keep feeders full if leaving for an extended period of time.
Remember Water: Birds can become dehydrated in winter even if surrounded by ice and snow. Use bird bath heaters to keep water from freezing in bird baths.
Stamp Down The Snow Below:
Ground-feeding birds such as dark-eyed juncos, doves and many sparrows will be able to gather up the seed that dropped from the feeders if they don’t have deep snow to try to manage.