Seasonal Bird Feeding Tips - Winter
Bird feeding is a year-round activity, so don't take your feeders down when the weather warms up or you may miss out on the cardinal’s mate feeding in the spring and adult birds bringing their offspring in the summer to learn how to get to the seeds you provide.
Birds don't all disappear in the winter. If you put out birdseed, you'll be amazed at how many birds do stay around for the winter. Your birdfeeders will be busy places especially after snowstorms when trees and other food sources are covered. Just be sure to remove any snow that blocks the seed at your feeders.
In the Winter
In the late fall and winter, heavy snowfalls bury natural sources of wild bird food. In addition, most of the lush berry and seed laden vegetation of spring and summer has withered and blown away, and most insect species are either dead or dormant.
Fill your feeders every day, but put out only a quantity of seed that the birds can eat before sundown, especially where raccoons, bears or deer are a problem.
For the fall and winter, consider adding suet feeders. Suet cakes are made of rendered beef fat, seeds and grains. This high-energy diet is especially important in colder zones where a bird’s metabolism has to work extra hard just to keep warm. There are bird feeders designed to hold one or more suet cakes.
Stamp down the snow underneath the feeders to help ground-feeding birds, such as juncos, cardinal and doves. Clean up discarded hulls regularly since removing debris gives the grass a chance to recover.
In the spring time, feeding provides the supplemental nourishment birds need to recover from migration. Here again, suet cakes as well as seed and nectar are a perfect choice for helping the birds regain their strength.
Additionally, summertime feeding helps reduce the stress of nesting at a time when natural seed supplies are at their lowest. If you want to do a lot of birdwatching, fill your yard with feeders of all kinds!
When fall approaches again, it is important to fill and maintain bird feeders and suet feeders to help the birds as they begin their migrations.
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